In a rare joint move, the US and Qatar coordinated on sanctions against Hezbollah on Wednesday. The sanctions targeted seven individuals based in the Arabian Peninsula that the US accuses of financing Hezbollah and designated them as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
In a statement on the sanctions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it “represents one of the most significant joint actions we have taken with a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partner to date.”
Blinken accused Hezbollah of “abuse the international financial system by utilizing global networks of financiers and front companies to support its malign activity.”
The US has considered Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization since the 1990s. But the reality is, the Shia group is a legitimate part of Lebanon’s government. US sanctions against Hezbollah are exacerbating Lebanon’s dire economic crisis.
Hezbollah recently coordinated an Iranian fuel shipment to Lebanon to ease the country’s fuel shortages, and more deliveries are expected. With the US looking to squeeze Iran’s oil trade, these deliveries could lead to more US sanctions against Hezbollah.