The administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed a new round of sanctions on Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah targeting individuals and international organizations that do business with the group.
Trump signed the sanctions legislation – known as the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act 2018 – against the resistance group on Thursday.
“Over the past year we have levied the highest sanctions ever imposed on Hezbollah – in a single year, by far. Just a few moments ago, I signed legislation imposing even more hard-hitting sanctions on Hezbollah to further starve them of their funds. And they are starving for them,” Trump said during an event in Washington, DC, that marked the 35th anniversary of an attack on US marine barracks in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.
Washington has for long accused Hezbollah of being behind the 1983 bombing attack, in which 241 US Marines were killed.
“We will target, disrupt, and dismantle their operational and financing networks – of which they had plenty; they don’t have plenty now… and we will never forget what they did to our Marines in Beirut,” Trump added.
The US president also used the attack to criticize Iran, claiming that the Islamic Republic is “instrumental in founding Hezbollah,” and remains “its main patron today.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the sanctions “will further isolate Hezbollah from the international financial system and reduce its funding,” adding that “these sanctions will target foreign persons and government agencies that knowingly assist or support Hezbollah, and Hezbollah-affiliated networks.”
Washington claims that the resistance movement condones terrorism despite the fact that Hezbollah has been involved in a fierce fight against Takfiri terror groups, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front, thus preventing the spillover of the militancy gripping neighboring Syria into Lebanon.
Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s following the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon. The movement waged a long resistance campaign against Zionist forces and pushed them out of southern Lebanon in May 2000. Since then, the group has grown into a powerful military force. Israel also suffered a humiliating defeat from Hezbollah in the 2006 war.
Hezbollah has also supported the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-sponsored terrorists, who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since March 2011.
Since its inception in 1985, the Lebanese resistance movement has been a thorn in the side of Israel and its foreign backers, including the United States.