The United States’ discontent with Lebanon’s current Cabinet, as well as its stance on the overwhelming “power” that Hezbollah has in Lebanon’s current system, has not been kept secret when the US Government has spoken up in the past.
As Hezbollah, one of Lebanon’s political parties are placed on the country’s terrorist list, the United States’ stance on any individual or entity loosely or explicitly linked to this “institution” is clear.
As reported by U.S. News on Wednesday, according to a notice on the official website of the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.S. has added to its lists of designated “global terrorists” a group of Lebanese individuals and entities that are claimed to have ties to the “Martyrs Foundation.”
U.S. officials had previously set its sights on the Lebanon-based Martyrs Foundation, which the Treasury Department claims to be an organization that “channels financial support to several militant groups, including Hezbollah.”
The U.S. Treasury Department said in an official statement that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had also resorted to blacklisting “Atlas Holding” for being owned or controlled by the Martyrs Foundation.
That blacklisting includes senior Atlas official Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi, and ten other Atlas-affiliated companies.
Jawad Nur-al-Din and Sheikh Yusuf Aasi were also designated for being leaders or officials of the Martyrs Foundation, which was identified as a foundation “supporting terrorism” in as early as July 2007.
Mirath S.A.L., which is owned or controlled by Jawad Nur-al-Din, was also designated and placed on this list by the department.
As an immediate consequence, their property that falls under U.S. jurisdiction will be blocked and reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, whose rules generally bar all U.S. persons from making any contact with the blacklisted.
Furthermore, those blacklisted are subject to secondary sanctions under which the OFAC can “penalize foreign financial institutions which deal with them.”
Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut have said in the past that the U.S. government will not lend any support to Lebanon until the necessary “reforms” the government deems necessary take effect.
In the past, the U.S. has made its stance on Hezbollah’s active role in the Lebanese government clear and has cited it as a reason for tense relationships between the two countries in the past.