[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Trump administration extends the sanctions against Hezbollah and calls on the international community to place Hezbollah, both its political arm and the military wing, on the list of terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that three key figures in Hezbollah (two members of the parliament, Muhammad Hasan Ra’d and Amin Sherri, as well as Hezbollah security official Wafiq Safa) were designated under Executive Order 13224 as terrorists and added to the list of individuals prohibited from operating in the US. These sanctions are also applied to any US citizens or anyone in the US acting on their behalf.
The Arab media quoted from the American announcement: “There should be no distinction between the political wing and the military wing, even Hezbollah does not make this distinction”.
On the other hand, Hezbollah described the sanctions as an insult and called on parliament and the Lebanese government to issue a formal condemnation.
A few officials also reacted to the news including Lebanese President Michel Aoun, “Lebanon regrets the resort of the US to these measures, especially in terms of targeting two elected deputies”
Nabih Berri, the Lebanese parliament speaker, called the new sanctions an act of aggression and “an attack on the parliament and certainly on Lebanon.”
Saad Hariri, Lebanese Prime Minister, said “The American decision will not affect neither the parliament nor the work we do in both houses of parliament and ministers.”
It seems the American message is not getting through to the Lebanese administration. The next step the US can take is making continued monetary support contingent on Lebanon taking a stronger stance against the terror organization and its growing influence on the state of Lebanon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]