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U.S. and Gulf partners freeze assets of Hezbollah leadership

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Lebanon's Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem gestures as he speaks during an interview with Reuters in Beirut, Lebanon March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
By Middle East Affairs 

Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy, Naim Qassem are targeted by the United States and it’s Gulf partners in a new round of sanctions on Lebanon’s Hezbollah leadership.

This is the first time that the US Treasury has acted against Qassem for his assumed affiliation with Hezbollah, but further strengths sanctions towards his superior, Nasrallah who was previously sanctioned in 1995 for his role in disrupting the Middle East peace process, and in 2012 over his role in Syria.

The Treasury announced that the upcoming sanctions target the primary decision-making body of Hezbollah.

The sanctions are enforced by the United States and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates- who are all members of Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC).

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary writes in a statement that, “By targeting Hezbollah’s Shoura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called ‘Political Wing’ and Hezbollah’s global terrorist plotting.”

This heralds the third round of sanctions since last Tuesday when President Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Four of Hezbollah’s committees have been targeted, alongside individuals with positions in power, the Gulf States have ordered the bank accounts and assets of certain individuals to be frozen.

Iran’s central bank governor and an Iraq-based bank were also added to the U.S. list of sanctions for allegedly moving millions of dollars for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guard’s external branch had been receiving millions of dollars from six individuals and three companies, which have now been placed on the United States Treasury Department’s sanctions list.

Daesh, a group in the Greater Sahara was labeled a terrorist organization, in addition, the U.S. Treasury Department placed sanctions on four other individuals.