The Treasury under Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday sanctioned three Lebanese financiers and their company for aiding the terrorist organization Hezbollah. File Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The Biden administration on Tuesday blacklisted three Lebanese men accused of being financiers for Hezbollah and a tourism company they own and operate.
The Treasury designated Adel Diab, Ali Mohamad Daoun and Jihad Salem Alame as well as their company, Dar Al Salam for Travel & Tourism, for sanctions, freezing all property and interests in property under their names as well as barring U.S. citizens from doing business with them under the risk of also being sanctioned.
"With this action, Treasury is disrupting businessmen who raise and launder funds for Hezbollah's destabilizing activities while the Lebanese people face worsening economic and humanitarian crises," Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement.
"Hezbollah claims it supports the Lebanese people, but just like other corrupt actors in Lebanon that Treasury has designated, Hezbollah continues to profit from insulated business ventures and backdoor political deals, amassing wealth that the Lebanese people never see," he added.
The Treasury said the Iran-backed Hezbollah's vast network of financiers has aided the terrorist organization in exploiting Lebanon of its resources to survive the current economic crisis facing the Middle Eastern country.
Diab is accused by the United States of using his business to raise funds for Hezbollah. He is also accused of sharing assets with Ali Al Sha'ir, an assistant to Hezbollah fundraiser Hasib Muhammad Hadwan, who is not only a member of the terrorist organization's general secretariat but works with its secretary general, Hasan Nasrallah.
Both Al Shair and Hadwan had been previously blacklisted.
Daoun is accused of being a Hezbollah official and Alame for materially assisting the organization.
"Through businessmen like those designated today, Hezbollah gains access to material and financial support through the legitimate commercial sector to fund its acts of terrorism and attempts to destabilize Lebanon's political institutions," the Treasury said.
Hezbollah was designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization in 2001.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah is not only a militant group but a Shiite political party, and is part of the nation's government.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the action Tuesday was being taken by the United States "in solidarity with the Lebanese people."
"As the Lebanese people suffer an economic crisis of historic proportions, Hezbollah continues to engage in illicit activity and amass wealth at the expense of the Lebanese people," he said in a statement. "It is clear Hezbollah and its associates are more concerned with advancing their own interests and those of their patron, Iran, than the best interests of the Lebanese people."