Gulf states add Hezbollah leadership to their terror lists, place sanctions

Published 17.05.2018 15:09
Updated 17.05.2018 17:40

Saudi Arabia and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, placed 10 leaders of Lebanon's Hezbollah on their terrorism lists on Wednesday, including Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy Naim Qassem, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

The Gulf states -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates -- also targeted four of the movement's committees, and ordered the individuals' assets and bank accounts frozen, it said.

The move followed the U.S. Treasury which said on Wednesday imposed additional sanctions on Lebanon's Hezbollah leadership, targeting its top two officials, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem.

Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister on Thursday lashed out on Twitter at the U.S. and Saudi Arabia for imposing sanctions on leaders of its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

"Israeli snipers shoot over 2,000 unarmed Palestinian protestors on a single day," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet referring to protests and clashes in the Gaza Strip that killed some 60 people this week.

The "Saudi response, on eve of Ramadan? Collaboration with its U.S. patron to sanction the first force to liberate Arab territory and shatter the myth of Israeli invincibility. Shame upon shame," he said.

Hezbollah is a key player in Lebanese politics, and it maintains its own arsenal of weapons and fighting force.

The group is fighting in Syria alongside Bashar al-Assad's military, and it has trained Iraqi Shiite militias which participated in retaking territory from the Daesh terror group.

The European Union has viewed Hezbollah's armed wing as a "terrorist" organization since 2013.

In 2016, the six Arab Sunni powers of the Gulf Co-operation Council -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman - designated Hezbollah a "terrorist" organization.

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