Gulf states, US put Hezbollah leadership on sanction lists

The move follows political gains by the group and its allies in parliamentary elections earlier this month

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council placed 10 leaders and affiliates of Lebanon’s Hezbollah on their terrorism lists on Wednesday.

The move follows political gains by the group and its allies in parliamentary elections earlier this month.

Read: Hezbollah allies gain in Lebanon vote

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said the sanctions were a joint action between member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Centre (TFTC) in Riyadh.

Participating countries included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the UAE and even Qatar, which is currently subject to a boycott led by Saudi Arabia.

Read: Saudi says Qatar ‘regime’ would fall in a week without US support

The sanctions were imposed in coordination with the US Treasury, which on Wednesday introduced additional measures against Hezbollah leaders including its two top officials Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem.

The TFTC list features Nasrallah, Qassem, Husayn Khaliland Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyid and other Hezbollah-affiliated individuals and entities previously designated by the US including Talal Hamiyah, Ali Youssef Charara, Spectrum Group, Hasan Ebrahimi, Maher Trading, Hashem Safieddine, Adham Tabaja, Al-Inmaa Group and Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting.

Read: US sanctions six people, seven firms linked to Hezbollah

“Hezbollah is a global terrorist organisation. Its leadership does not separate its military and political wings and we continue to reject the false distinction between Hezbollah’s so-called ‘political wing’ and its terrorist and militant activities,” the Saudi government said in a statement to SPA.

“Hezbollah and its chief benefactor Iran are prolonging the human suffering in Syria, fuelling the violence in Iraq and Yemen, putting the Lebanese state and the Lebanese people at risk, and destabilising the entire region.”

The action will see all property and interests of the designated individuals and entities that are within the TFTC countries or in possession of their nationals blocked and reported.

The GCC states officially declared Hezbollah a terrorist organisation in 2016.

Read: GCC labels Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terrorist organisation

With contributions from Reuters