The Lists of ‘Hezbollah’
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed/Asharq Al-Awsat/May 18/2018
Six Hezbollah leaders are now on the terror lists of six Gulf countries and the United States. The importance of this issue lies also in its background.
In this month last year, the International Center for the Targeting of Terrorist Financing was inaugurated following the memorandum of understanding signed between the Gulf states and the United States in Riyadh during the visit of President Donald Trump.
Last May during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh, the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center was inaugurated after a memorandum of understanding was signed between Gulf states and the US.
It is true that these six people listed do not have Saudi or Gulf bank accounts and do not visit these countries, not even the US, but blacklisting them is part of a confrontation policy that aims at curbing Iran and its proxies in the region.
Before this announcement was made, the activity of financial institutions detected in the UAE was halted because they were transferring money to Iran. A few days before that, the al-Bilad Islamic Bank in Iraq was blacklisted according to a statement issued by the US Treasury which is a member of the International Center.
Listing six Hezbollah leaders can be seen as a move that distinguishes between Lebanon and Hezbollah although the latter always seeks to combine these two entities and make the six million hostages in the country pay the price for any punishment imposed on it.
The coordination between the seven countries against Iran’s activities is relatively old but it has become stronger after the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal as Washington has actually engaged in the economic sanctions that were suspended in the last three years.
Iran has arms and militias and it is involved in fighting in a number of countries in the region and outside of it. However, we do not want opposing countries to pursue this same approach of spreading violence.
The weapons that these opposing countries and their allies use are economic, technical and informational. After Washington announced reimposing economic sanctions, the Iranian currency dropped to a point of collapse. Between these two weapons and war tactics, the Iranian government’s crisis will be more dangerous than that of opposing countries.
Those who criticize what they view as failure of the countries of the region of not confronting Iran through violence and war may not realize that facing it through economy and boycotts in partnership with major countries is more beneficial. Iran mainly relies on its oil revenues to fund its wars in Syria and Yemen and it funds Hezbollah with around $700 million a year.
It pays most of the budgets of the Hamas Movement in Gaza and the Houthi Movement in Yemen. Except for Syria, the Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards do not directly engage in fighting but they send money, arms and recruiters. Therefore, we are on the brink of a different war.