News ID: 255593
Published: 0212 GMT July 10, 2019

Parliament speaker: Anti-Hezbollah sanctions 'aggression' on Lebanon

Parliament speaker:  Anti-Hezbollah sanctions 'aggression' on Lebanon
REUTERS

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri condemned Wednesday sanctions imposed the day before by the United States against three Hezbollah officials, including two lawmakers, calling them an "aggression" against Lebanon.

The new sanctions announced Tuesday mark the first time the US has placed elected officials from the powerful Shia movement on its sanctions blacklist.

Lawmakers Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hassan Raad were accused of "exploiting Lebanon's political and financial system" to benefit Hezbollah, according to a statement from the US Treasury.

Berri said the sanctions against the officials from Hezbollah constitute "an aggression against Parliament and certainly an aggression against Lebanon", according to a statement from his office.

Berri's Amal Movement is allied with Hezbollah, a major political player that took 13 seats in the country's May 2018 parliamentary elections and secured three cabinet posts.

Also placed on the blacklist was Wafiq Safa, a top Hezbollah security official close to the resistance movement's Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

“Lebanon and its banks are committed to all the legislation and there is no justification at all for escalating these sanctions,” he said.

Hezbollah has not issued a formal statement in response to the latest sanctions. Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar told Lebanese broadcaster LBC on Wednesday the sanctions were a “medal of honor.”

“The American action is an attack on national sovereignty and it is a government duty to defend this sovereignty and protect it,” he said.

Another Hezbollah lawmaker Ali Fayyad slammed the sanctions on Tuesday, calling them "a humiliation for the Lebanese people."

The sanctions brought to 50 the number of Hezbollah individuals and entities blacklisted by the US Treasury since 2017.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, a senior Berri aide, said late on Tuesday the sanctions against Hezbollah were “unwarranted and do not serve financial stability.”

“Lebanon and its banks are committed to all the legislation and there is no justification at all for escalating these sanctions,” he said.

AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.

 

 

 

   
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