US Blacklists 2 Former Beirut Ministers
The US Treasury Department on Tuesday continued its efforts to cripple the Lebanese Hizbullah organization, by imposing fresh sanctions on two former high-ranking ministers in the Lebanon government. Hizbullah is designated a terrorist group by many governments and organizations, including the US, Israel, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, while a number of other countries and the EU as a whole have designated Hizbullah’s military wing a terrorist organization. According to the White House, Yusuf Finyanus and Ali Hassan Khalil, the respective transport and finance ministers until earlier this year, engaged in illegal and corrupt activities meant to financially aid the terror group. In exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the men transferred government budgets to Hizbullah-owned companies and ensured that firms associated with the organization won state contracts. The two also helped Hizbullah access sensitive documents and moved money around to evade US sanctions. The new sanctions essentially ban all American citizens from conducting business with Finyanus and Khalil, while also freezing any assets held by the two blacklisted individuals in the US.