WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation to cut off Hezbollah’s financial network.
“Monetary support from Tehran, combined with soft talk from global leaders who should know better, have emboldened Hezbollah in their campaign of terror,” said Senator Blackburn. “This legislation targets Hezbollah’s financial backing and allows for targeted sanctions – one of the most effective ways to reduce the group’s power and influence in the region.”
Senator Blackburn’s proposed legislation would instruct the Department of Treasury to determine whether there are reasonable grounds for concluding that certain jurisdictions in Lebanon are primary areas for money laundering on behalf of Hezbollah under Section 311 of the Patriot Act. This designation would require domestic financial institutions and agencies to take measures against the money laundering entity.
Senator Blackburn’s Legislation Will:
- Prohibit the opening and or maintaining of a bank account in the United States or on behalf of a financial institution in the designated area
- Allow the President to impose additional sanctions on institutions in the designated area
- Call for a detailed report from Department of State and Department of Treasury on senior political figures in Lebanon who are providing support to Hezbollah
Established in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982, Hezbollah has successfully launched numerous attacks on U.S. and partner interests and actively promotes the Iranian agenda in the region. The Department of Treasury estimates that Iran provides Hezbollah with more than $700 million each year. Lebanese Hezbollah operates a global terror and illicit finance network extending into Europe and Latin America. Hezbollah was designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997.