USA imposes sanctions on Hezbollah leadership

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The US Treasury has imposed additional sanctions on six individuals, including Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and the movement's deputy leader Naim Qassem.

The joint action came in partnership between the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC), which include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Saudi Arabia state security said Wednesday that it has added 10 Hezbollah militia leaders to its terror list, five of whom are the Lebanese militia's Shoura Council members.

A number of other individuals and firms, which are said to be affiliated with Hezbollah, were also hit with bans.

The US Treasury Department said four other individuals were also sanctioned, as was the group ISIS in the Greater Sahara. As the Secretary General and head of the Shura Council, Nasrallah is Hezbollah's highest-ranking official and exercises direct command over Hezbollah's military and security apparatus as its supreme commander, including its involvement in the war in Syria.

Hezbollah, which was founded after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and is classified as a terrorist organization by the USA, has faced off with Israel across the decades, including in a month-long war in 2006.

Hezbollah was formed following the Israeli regime's invasion of Lebanon and the ensuing occupation of its southern parts in 1980s, and now constitutes Lebanon's de facto military power.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank governor and an Iraq-based bank for funneling millions of dollars on behalf of Iran's elite revolutionary guards.

President Donald Trump's government pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement on May 8th.

The move expands US sanctions against Nasrallah, who was sanctioned by Washington in 1995 for threatening to disrupt the Middle East peace process and again in 2012 over Syria.

During that speech, Trump accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of supporting terrorism and called its role in region "sinister".

Meanwhile, the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem has enraged the Palestinian Authority, as well as militant group Hamaz, which has ties to Iran and Hezbollah.

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