Arab Times

US sanc­tions 2 Le­banon-based firms, Hezb-linked per­son

- Military · Middle East News · Politics · Warfare and Conflicts · World Politics · Lebanon · Beirut · U.S. Treasury · United States of America · Iran · Michel Aoun · Nabih Berri · Hezbollah · Australian Department of the Treasury · Office of Foreign Assets Control

BEIRUT, Sept 17, (AP): The US Trea­sury on Thurs­day im­posed sanc­tions on two Le­banon-based com­pa­nies and a man de­scribed as an of­fi­cial with the Le­banese mil­i­tant Hezbol­lah group.

The United States con­sid­ers the Iran-backed Hezbol­lah a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion and has im­posed sanc­tions on many of the mil­i­tant group’s of­fi­cials in the past.

The new wave of sanc­tions comes as Le­banon is pass­ing through its worst eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial cri­sis in decades. The coun­try is also fac­ing a po­lit­i­cal dead­lock amid de­lays in the for­ma­tion of a new, cri­sis Cab­i­net, be­cause of a port­fo­lio dis­pute.

The US De­part­ment of the Trea­sury’s Of­fice of For­eign As­sets Con­trol, or OFAC, sanc­tioned the com­pa­nies Arch Con­sult­ing and Mea­mar Con­struc­tion “for be­ing owned, con­trolled, or di­rected by Hezbol­lah.”

OFAC also sanc­tioned Sul­tan Khal­i­fah Asaad, say­ing that he is a Hezbol­lah of­fi­cial closely as­so­ci­ated with both com­pa­nies.

“Hezbol­lah lever­ages Arch and Mea­mar to con­ceal money trans­fers to Hezbol­lah’s own ac­counts, fur­ther en­rich­ing Hezbol­lah’s lead­er­ship and sup­port­ers, and de­priv­ing the Le­banese peo­ple of much-needed funds,” the Trea­sury said.

Last week, the Trea­sury sanc­tioned two for­mer Le­banese Cab­i­net min­is­ters al­lied with Hezbol­lah – the ex-fi­nance minister, Ali Has­san Khalil, cur­rently a law­maker, and the for­mer pub­lic works and trans­porta­tion minister, Youssef Fe­ni­anos.

Le­banon’s Prime Minister-des­ig­nate Mu­at­apha Adib told re­porters after meet­ing Pres­i­dent Michel Aoun on Thurs­day af­ter­noon that he will al­low more time for dis­cus­sions over the for­ma­tion of a new Cab­i­net.

The talks have stalled over which of Le­banon’s sects will get the fi­nance min­istry. Hezbol­lah and its Shi­ite ally Amal group of Par­lia­ment Speaker Nabih Berri are in­sist­ing their sect gets the port­fo­lio and that they get to name Shi­ite min­is­ters in the new Cab­i­net.

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