On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) brought new sanctions against Hezbollah leadership figures as well as Iranian entities.
The targeted sheiks, Nabil Qaouk and Hassan Baghdadi, are both members of Hezbollah’s executive Central Council, which is responsible for electing members of the group’s Shura Council.
The Shura Council “formulates policy and asserts control over all aspects of Hezbollah’s activities, including its military activities,” the OFAC stated, noting that Qaouk and Baghdadi were targeted by the sanctions “for being leaders or officials of Hezbollah.”
They were designated under Executive Order 13224, which targets “terrorists, leaders or officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.”
“Hezbollah’s senior leaders are responsible for creating and implementing the terrorist organization’s destabilizing and violent agenda against US interests and those of our partners around the world,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin affirmed that the US must continue to hold Hezbollah accountable for its “horrific actions” as the 37th anniversary of the bombing of the US Marine Barracks in Beirut approaches.
In addition to sanctioning the Hezbollah figures, the OFAC announced that it had imposed sanctions against 5 Iranian entities “for attempting to influence elections in the United States,” according to the statement.
Furthermore, the Treasury Department activated sanctions against the Iranian Ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, whom it accused of “acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF”: Iran’s Quds Force.
“In his decades of service with the group, Masjedi has overseen a program of training and support to Iraqi militia groups, and he has directed or supported groups that are responsible for attacks that have killed and wounded U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq,” the OFAC said.