USA sanctions Ghana, Sierra Leone businesses over Hezbollah links

USA sanctions Ghana, Sierra Leone businesses over Hezbollah links

USA sanctions Ghana, Sierra Leone businesses over Hezbollah links

The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has hit the group with sanctions before.

General Heidari said Iran supports regional states which have stood up against the terrorist groups and crises created by the USA and its allies in the region.

During a speech at the United Nations past year, Trump accused the Iranian regime of funneling money away from its people and towards terrorists like those in Hezbollah. The seven entities were firms based in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Lebanon and Ghana, the statement said.

The sanctions prohibit US persons from engaging in transactions with those individuals' property or interests, including seven specific entities owned or controlled by one of those sanctioned individuals.

One senior US official, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized publicly, described the new measures as a blow to the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Quds Force, "which uses Lebanese Hezbollah as really its main means of projecting destabilizing power in conflict zones", including Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The agency said in a statement Hezbollah is a terrorist group that is "responsible for the death of hundreds of Americans" and is a key proxy Iran uses to weaken Arab countries in the Middle East. Administration officials estimate Iran sends about $700 million annually to the militant group.

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Yet in targeting Hezbollah so forcefully, the Trump administration has raised hard questions about how the USA can justify continued close ties to Lebanon. It is also a member of the Mediterranean nation's coalition government.

Trump officials said more sanctions would be coming against Hezbollah, the results of an investigation into the group that President Donald Trump ordered last summer.

The six individuals and seven businesses affected are believed to be employed and owned by Adham Tabaja, one of Hezbollah's most senior financiers.

They said there were "dozens" more financial networks linked to Hezbollah that could be targeted. The construction company is mostly active in predominantly Shi'ite areas in Lebanon such as Beirut's southern suburbs and the southern town of Nabatiyeh. The officials described Tabaja as among the top five Hezbollah financiers at the moment.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to Twitter saying, "We will no longer allow corrupt Hezbollah and other Iranian regime cronies to hide their crimes behind front companies".

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