US blacklists Hezbollah official, Lebanon-based companies


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SULAIMANI — The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on a Hezbollah official and two Lebanon-based companies as the country experiences a deep economic crisis, accusing them of being linked to the Iran-backed Shia group.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said it blacklisted Arch Consulting and Meamar Construction, building on sanctions imposed this month on two former government ministers Washington accused of enabling Hezbollah.

Also hit with sanctions was Sultan Khalifah As’ad, who the Treasury said is a senior Hezbollah Executive Council official who provided project guidance to the companies.

“The United States remains committed to targeting Hizballah and its supporters as they corruptly abuse Lebanese resources to enrich their leaders while the Lebanese people suffer from inadequate services,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

The action freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them. Those that engage in certain transactions with those designated are also at risk of being hit with secondary sanctions, the Treasury said.

The Arch Consulting and Meamar Construction companies are leveraged by Hezbollah to conceal money transfers to the group’s own accounts, enriching Hezbollah leadership, the Treasury said.

(NRT Digital Media/ Reuters)