Middle East

US designates son of Hezbollah leader as a ‘global terrorist’

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said earlier this year that increasing US pressure on the group would not yield results (Reuters)

The US State Department has designated Jawad Nasrallah, son of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as a "global terrorist" and accused him of carrying out attacks against Israel in the occupied West Bank.

The department on Tuesday also blacklisted Al-Mujahidin Brigades (AMB), which it said had links to Hezbollah and had plotted a number of attacks against Israeli targets from a base in the Palestinian Territories.

The department said Nasrallah and AMB had officially been labelled as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) and that its actions would deny Nasrallah and AMB access to the US financial system.

"Today's designations seek to deny Nasrallah and AMB the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks," the department said in a statement.

The department described Jawad as a "rising leader of Hezbollah".

Later, the State Department announced it was offering up to $5m each for information leading to the locations of Hamas leader Salih al-Aruri, and Lebanese Hezbollah leaders Khalil Yusif Mahmoud Harb and Haytham Ali Tabatabaei, under the agency's so-called Rewards for Justice Programme.

The department said both Hamas and Hezbollah receive weapons, training and funding from Iran.

Washington recently reimposed sanctions against Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a 2015 nuclear deal.

'Smuggling oil'

Earlier on Tuesday, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on four people it said were linked to Hezbollah and who coordinate the group's activities in Iraq.

The Treasury added Shibl Muhsin Ubayd al-Zaydi, Yusuf Hashim, Adnan Hussein Kawtharani and Muhammad Abd-al-Hadi Farhat to its SDGT list. Al-Zaydi is Iraqi and the others are Lebanese.

In a statement, the Treasury said the four individuals "lead and coordinate (Hezbollah's) operational, intelligence and financial activities in Iraq".

The Treasury accused al-Zaydi of smuggling oil from Iran and from Iran into Syria, of fundraising for Hezbollah and of sending fighters to Syria for Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Washington at the end of October tightened existing anti-Hezbollah legislation aiming to sever the group's funding routes around the world, passing amendments to the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (HIFPA) of 2015.

The four individuals are being sanctioned under HIFPA.

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah said earlier this year that increasing US pressure on the group would not yield results.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri on Tuesday blamed Hezbollah for what he called "a big obstacle" in efforts to form a new government.

Hezbollah has been pressing a demand for one of six Sunni Muslim politicians allied to it to get a cabinet position.

Hariri has refused to give up one of the seats allocated for his mainly Sunni party.

Original Article

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