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U.S. Sanctions Hizballah Lawmakers

The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on a Hizballah security official and two Hizballah members of Lebanon's parliament who are accused of using their positions to further the aims of the Iran-backed militant group and "bolster Iran's malign activities."

The Treasury said on July 9 that lawmakers Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra'd and official Wafiq Safa, who is in charge of Hizballah's Liaison and Coordination Unit responsible for coordinating with Lebanese security agencies, have been blacklisted.

The action marks the first time Washington has taken aim at the Iran-allied group's elected politicians.

"Hizballah uses its operatives in Lebanon's parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group's financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran's malign activities," Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The department says the new sanctions make clear there is no distinction between Hizballah's political and militant activities.

Washington has designated Hizballah a terrorist group.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters