US, Gulf states slap new sanctions on Hezbollah leadership

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (left) and his deputy, Naim Qassem. (AFP & Reuters photos)
Updated 17 May 2018
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US, Gulf states slap new sanctions on Hezbollah leadership

  • The US Treasury Department said four other individuals were also sanctioned, as was the group Daesh in the Greater Sahara, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organization
  • Wednesday’s sanctions targeted members of the primary decision-making body of Hezbollah

WASHINGTON: The United States and Gulf partners imposed additional sanctions on Lebanon’s Hezbollah leadership on Wednesday, targeting its top two officials, Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy, Naim Qassem.
The US Treasury Department said four other individuals were also sanctioned, as was the group Daesh in the Greater Sahara, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
It was the third round of sanctions announced by Washington since the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal last week.
Wednesday’s sanctions targeted members of the primary decision-making body of Hezbollah, Treasury said in a statement.
“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,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
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. It is, however, the first time that the US Treasury has acted against Qassem, who is being listed for his ties to Hezbollah.
The measures were imposed jointly by Washington and its partners in the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, it said.
The Gulf states targeted four of the movement’s committees and ordered individuals’ assets and bank accounts frozen.

On Tuesday, the US imposed sanctions on Iran’s central bank governor and an Iraq-based bank for “moving millions of dollars” for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Last week, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against six individuals and three companies it said were funneling millions of dollars to the Revolutionary Guard’s external arm, Quds Force.

 

 


Iraq’s top court ratifies manual recount of May ballots

Updated 35 min 15 sec ago
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Iraq’s top court ratifies manual recount of May ballots

  • The court decision paves the way for president to summon lawmakers to an inaugural session
  • Political wrangling over who gets to be prime minister will likely delay the process

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s top court has ratified the results of the country’s May parliamentary elections following a manual ballot recount ordered by the outgoing chamber following charges of irregularities.
The Federal Court’s decision on Sunday paves the way for the president to summon lawmakers to an inaugural session of the new, 329-seat house. In theory, parliament should then proceed to elect a speaker, a president and a prime minister, who will in turn form a new government.
However, political wrangling over who gets to be prime minister will likely delay the process for weeks, maybe months.
A coalition led by maverick Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr won the largest number of seats, 54, followed by an alliance of government-sanctioned militias known as Hashed, with 47.