The U.S. senate has passed two bills to counteract Iranian proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The bills close in on Hezbollah by sanctioning its funders and supporters, as well as those who assist in the Lebanese terror group’s using civilians as human shields.
Moreover, Lawmakers sent the “Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017” (HIFPAA) to President Donald Trump’s desk, who is expected to sign in it into law in the coming days.
The HIFPAA and the “STOP Using Human Shields Act” (known as STOP) unanimously passed the US Senate, clearing the way for sanctions that would target the Iranian-funded group.
The Senate also passed the human shields prevention act, to impose sanctions on groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Al Qaeda which it accuses of using civilians as human shields in conflict.
In May, the United States and Gulf partners imposed additional sanctions on Hezbollah leadership, targeting its top two officials, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem.
The U.S. Treasury Department said four other individuals were also sanctioned, as was the group ISIS in the Greater Sahara, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
The move expands U.S. sanctions against Nasrallah, who was sanctioned by Washington in 1995 for threatening to disrupt the Middle East peace process and again in 2012 over Syria. It is, however, the first time that the U.S. Treasury has acted against Qassem, who is being listed for his ties to Hezbollah.
“By targeting Hezbollah’s Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called ‘Political Wing’ and Hezbollah’s global terrorist plotting,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
Head of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs, Sami Nader, posted on Twitter that sanctions over Hezbollah targets certain people and bodies related to the group.
Nader also added that the U.S. administration is encouraging European countries to do that same, therefore, it is expected that Europe would impose sanctions over the party and Iran as well.
He also added that these sanctions would affect Hezbollah’s ability by drying up its sources of funding.
According to the sanctions, the U.S. administration would ban any individual who finances Hezbollah from entering it, as the authority is given to the president to ban entering visas after informing the congress within six months.