US Blacklists 15 Lebanese People and Entities for Links to Iran Foundation
The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) placed three Lebanon-based officials and 12 Lebanon-based entities on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) on Wednesday or the links to Iran’s ‘Martyrs Foundation’, which is part of Hezbollah’s support network.
Those sanctioned included:
- Atlas Holding
- senior Atlas official Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi
- ten Atlas-affiliated companies, including Mirath S.A.L
- Martyrs Foundation officials Jawad Nur-al-Din and Sheikh Yusuf Aasi
The foundation was already sanctioned by the US in 2007 because it is essentially a funnel for financial support from Iran to terrorist organizations, while its Lebanon office is a major part of Hezbollah’s global support network, the Treasury said.
#Zarif, a close friend of #Soleimani, tweeted: The US’s act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation. The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.@USAdarFarsi #Iran pic.twitter.com/0PqxkTKxml
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) January 6, 2020
The statement read:
“Hezbollah was designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in October 1997 and as an SDGT pursuant to E.O. 13224 in October 2001. As noted in previous Treasury actions, the Lebanon office of the Martyrs Foundation acts as an Iranian parastatal organization and is an integral element of Hezbollah’s global terror support network. It provides services such as financial support to the families of killed or imprisoned Hezbollah members, as well as to families of suicide bombers from HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
The Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) created Hezbollah in 1982 to act as its proxy and spread terrorism across the Middle East. Since then, Hezbollah has been funded by the Iranian regime and routinely conducts terrorist activities in the region on the regime’s behalf.
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said:
“Hezbollah profits from the sale of goods vital to the Lebanese peoples’ health and economies, such as pharmaceuticals and gasoline. The Trump administration stands with the Lebanese people, and we are committed to exposing and holding accountable Hezbollah’s terror-funding business schemes.”
IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, who also ran the IRGC Quds Force, previously directed Hezbollah but since he died in a US drone strike in Iraq on January 3, one can only assume that his Quds Force successor is pulling the strings from Iran.
Qassem Soleimani’s record was published on the Washington Times paper version last week, under “#Iran Regime’s Terror Master, #QassemSoleimani’s Record”#IranProtests #FreeIran2020 #MEK @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/d350P3du1f
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) January 19, 2020
Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said that prior to Soleimani’s death, he had requested 120 Hezbollah commanders from Nasrallah.
During the Syrian civil war, Soleimani used Hezbollah mercenaries to attack Syrian rebels, with at least 2,000 Hezbollah fighters under the Quds Force’s command in Syria. They helped prop up the Bashar Assad dictatorship and prevented the people from getting the freedom they fought for.