The Trump administration is targeting a senior Hezbollah operative with sanctions in what the White House says is an unprecedented use of economic pressure.
The Treasury Department announced Friday morning it’s designating Salman Raouf Salman, “also known as Samuel Salman El Reda” for acting on behalf of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, which the administration says is responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of terrorist attacks and for undermining the security of Lebanon. The State Department is also offering $7 million for information that leads to his capture.
This administration will continue to target Hezbollah terrorists who plot horrific murderous operations and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians on behalf of this violent group and its Iranian patrons, said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in a statement.
We are targeting Salman Raouf Salman, who coordinated a devastating attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina against the largest Jewish center in South America 25 years ago and has directed terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere for Hezbollah ever since.
The administration announced its actions on the 25th anniversary of an attack Salman is accused of ordering on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The attack killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others.
Since then, the U.S. and other nations have accused Salman of plotting other attacks from a base in Lebanon. Officials believe he is still in the Middle East, but do not know exactly where.
The new sanctions are designed to freeze all of Salman’s assets within the United States.
On Thursday, Argentina’s government declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and froze its assets.
Iran has accused the Trump administration of provoking a military confrontation. The U.S. has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in and around the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump and aides said Iran has a 40-year history of provoking the United States.
The announcement comes just one day after Argentina designated Hezbollah a terrorist organisation – a measure Secretary Pompeo commended during his remarks. The move imposes sanctions against the organisation, freezing its assets.
Salman arrived in Argentina in 1989 using the false identity “Salman El Reda” and married an Argentine of Lebanese descent. In 2009, he was identified in a report by late AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman as the alleged primary organiser of the 1994 bombing, which left 85 people dead and more than 300 injured.