New Proposed US Sanctions Will Target Lebanese Army, Hezbollah, Berri, And Gebran Bassil

Sanctions Will Target Lebanese Army, Hezbollah, Berri & Gebran Bassil
Reuters

A new US Congress policy proposal calls for sanctions on Iran and its allies on an unprecedented scale. These sanctions, if approved, will directly target and other Lebanese entities and individuals.

US Congress Republicans just released on Wednesday a policy proposal that calls for the imposition of additional sanctions on Iran and its proxies, as well as some of the supporters of these proxies.

The proposed policy states Hezbollah as a major target of these sanctions, and names “[Former] Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil and head of the Amal Movement and the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri” as targets as well, among other allies.

In addition to Hezbollah and its circle of allies, the new policy will directly affect the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), for it calls for the cutting of its funding by US taxpayer money.

The Lebanese economy will also suffer a significant blow by this policy because it calls for the prohibition of using the same money to fund the International Monetary Fund’s bailout plan intended to aid Lebanon, which is currently governed by turmoil.

As to why the suggested sanctions will target the LAF, the Republicans’ proposal finds that “the Lebanese government is now under the control of Hezbollah and its allies, which hold a solid majority in the parliament.”

With that said, it explains that “it is even harder to argue that funding the LAF is achieving anything other than propping up the Iranian order maintained by Hezbollah.”

It also gives the same reason for its opposition to the IMF’s bailout plan; the plan which the Lebanese government needs desperately amid its worst economic crisis since the Lebanese Civil War.

Moving forward with financial assistance to Lebanon, the proposal indicates, “would only reward Hezbollah at a time where protesters in Lebanon are demanding an end to corruption and standing against Hezbollah’s rule.”

Ultimately, the sanctions aim to weaken the influence of Iran, which the report describes as a “significant challenge as a rogue regime backed by a military and intelligence apparatus while being the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”