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U.S. Sanctions Iran-Linked Entities, Individuals In Lebanon, Oman

The United States has sanctioned what it calls "financiers" of the Hizballah militant group in Lebanon. (file photo)

WASHINGTON -- The United States has announced a set of sanctions in Lebanon and Oman targeting the financing of the Iran-backed Hizballah militant group, which opposes Israel.

The Treasury Department on August 29 said it was sanctioning the Lebanon-based Jammal Trust Bank "for supporting Hizballah’s illicit financial and banking activities."

The action declared Jammal Trust a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) "for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, Hizballah.”

"Jammal Trust has a long-standing relationship with a key Hizballah financial entity and provides financial services to the Martyrs Foundation and companies controlled by Hizballah’s Executive Council," the statement said.

"Jammal Trust’s misconduct undermines the integrity of the Lebanese financial system," it added.

The Treasury statement said the action "reflects our determination to counter Hizballah’s terrorist and illicit activities in Lebanon."

Lebanon-based Hizballah was first listed as a SDGT in January 1995 as part of efforts to target "terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process."

The U.S. statement added that the Treasury will work closely with Lebanon's central bank and other institutions in the country to help "preserve the integrity and stability of Lebanon’s banking system."

The Treasury on August 29 said it was also targeting individuals in Oman "who allegedly act as middlemen to funnel cash from Iran's elite Quds Force to Hamas in Gaza," referring to the arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The sanctioned individuals were listed as: Muhammad Sarur, Kamal Abdelrahman Aref Awad, Fawaz Mahmud Ali Nasser, and Muhammad Kamal al-Ayy.

"These facilitators funneled tens of millions of dollars from Iran's Quds Force through Hizballah in Lebanon to Hamas for terrorist attacks originating from the Gaza Strip," said Sigal Mandelker, the U.S. Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

"Hamas's continued violent campaign against innocent civilians and the state of Israel is to the great detriment of the people in Gaza," he added, referring to the anti-Israel militant Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip.

The Treasury said the action in Oman was taken "in partnership" with that Persian Gulf country's government.

Under the sanctions, individuals and organizations will be barred from doing business with U.S. citizens or institutions.

With reporting by AP and AFP
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