A woman wears a scarf decorated in the colours of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement and bearing a picture of the movement’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a Beirut, Oct 12, 2016. (AFP)

January 18, 2022

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on three businessmen with ties to Hezbollah, saying their activity as financial facilitators for the Iran-backed group was exploiting Lebanon’s economic resources at a time of crisis for that country.

The Treasury Department has added Adel Diab, Ali Mohamad Daoun, Jihad Salem Alame, and their company Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism, to its sanctions list, the department said in a statement.

“Through businessmen like those designated today, Hezbollah gains access to material and financial support through the legitimate commercial sector to fund its acts of terrorism and attempts to destabilize Lebanon’s political institutions,” the US Treasury said in the statement.

Lebanon’s economy has been in crisis since 2019 when it collapsed under a mountain of debt. Its currency plunged to a new low last week, and swathes of the nation have been driven into poverty.

Lebanon’s cabinet will hold its first meeting in three months next week, local media reported on Monday, after Hezbollah and another group, Amal, ended their boycott of the cabinet at the weekend.

The two groups, which back several ministers, had been boycotting the cabinet in a dispute over the conduct of an investigation into a huge explosion at Beirut’s port in 2020.

The US Treasury said Tuesday’s action requires all property owned by the three men and their business that is in the United States to be blocked and reported to the department, and that all transactions related to the property by US citizens be prohibited.

Reuters

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.