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US sanctions Hezbollah lawmakers

London Al Quds March Hezbollah; June 10, 2018. (David Holt/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on a Hezbollah security official and two Hezbollah members of Lebanon’s parliament who are accused of using their positions to further the aims of the Iran-backed militant group and “bolster Iran’s malign activities.”

The Treasury said on July 9 that lawmakers Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d and official Wafiq Safa, who is in charge of Hezbollah’s Liaison and Coordination Unit responsible for coordinating with Lebanese security agencies, have been blacklisted.

The action marks the first time Washington has taken aim at the Iran-allied group’s elected politicians.

“Hezbollah uses its operatives in Lebanon’s parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran’s malign activities,” Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The department says the new sanctions make clear there is no distinction between Hezbollah’s political and militant activities.

Washington has designated Hezbollah a terrorist group.