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Report: Beirut Blast Revives U.S. Sanctions Bill on Lebanese Officials

Aug 13

Report: Beirut Blast Revives U.S. Sanctions Bill on Lebanese Officials

The massive Beirut explosion revived a US legislation bill aimed to impose sanctions on Lebanese officials on charges of “corruption, ties to Hizbullah and violations of human rights,” the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday.

For months, US lawmakers and officials have been preparing draft laws and proposals to impose sanctions on Lebanese officials and political bodies because of their direct links with Hizbulah, classified as a terrorist organization in the United States, said the daily.

It added that sanctions will also be imposed on Lebanese officials involved in corruption and in extensive violations of human rights.

The daily added that “13 Republican members of Congress have recently submitted a 111-page bill proposal to impose the largest sanctions yet on Iran, including designating the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, stopping aid to Lebanon, and punishing former Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and Speaker Nabih Berri.”

The Republican Study Committee in the US House of Representatives prepared a paper recommending punishment of the Iranian regime and its Lebanese 'agents' or Lebanese leaders allied with Hizbulah, in addition to stopping the aid allocated to the Lebanese army, according to the newspaper.

The paper reportedly mentioned former health minister Jamil Jabaq and former foreign minister Fawzi Salloukh.

Subsequently, Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Republican Representative Lee Zeldin submitted a bill to combat Hizbullah and withhold 20 percent of US military aid to the Lebanese army “unless President Michel Aoun can prove that he is taking the necessary steps to end the influence of Hizbullah and Iran,” reported the daily.