U.S. slaps sanctions on Hezbollah financier, related companies
WASHINGTON, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Treasury announced on Thursday that it has imposed sanctions on Hezbollah financier, its representative to Iran and five related entities.
The Treasury said in a statement it has designated the financier Mohammad Ibrahim, Bazzi and the group's representative to Iran Abdallah Safi-Al-Din, naming them Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).
Five companies, located in Europe, West Africa and the Middle East, were also under the Treasury's blacklist as they were allegedly owned or controlled by Mohammad Bazzi and another SDGT.
"Hizballah (Hezbollah) uses financiers like Bazzi who are tied to drug dealers, and who launder money to fund terrorism," said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin in the statement.
As a result of the actions, all property and interests in property of those designated subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
"This Administration will expose and disrupt Hizballah and Iranian terror networks at every turn, including those with ties to the Central Bank of Iran," Mnuchin added.
It was the latest in a string of actions to curb Iran and its overseas connections by Washington following U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement of withdrawing from the landmark Iran nuclear deal last week.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury, together with its Gulf allies, designated Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, its Deputy Secretary General Naim Qasim and four other individuals and one group.
On Tuesday, the Treasury named Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, and another senior official in Iran's Central Bank as "specially designated global terrorists" for allegedly assisting Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi later on Wednesday condemned Washington's move, describing it as "the continuation of the U.S. government's inappropriate behavior and hostile policies, which have targeted the Iranian nation over the past decades in various forms."