ترامب يوقع على عقوبات جديدة ضد حزب الله/White House: The President Just Signed This Law to Isolate Hezbollah/U.S. Sanctions on Iran Put Financial Pressure on Hizbullah اسوشيتد برس: العقوبات الأميركية على إيران تتسبب بضغوطات مالية على حزب الله

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ترامب يوقع على عقوبات جديدة ضد حزب الله
اسوشيتد برس/26 تشرين الأول/18

وقع الرئيس الاميركي دونالد ترامب قانوناً أقره الكونغرس يقضي بعقوبات إضافية ضد حزب الله. ولقد جاء توقيع ترامب خلال مراسم إحياء الذكرى 35 لعملية تفجير مقر مشاة البحرية الأميركية في بيروت. وخلال كلمة له للمناسبة، حذّر ترامب قادة الحزب من أن بلاده “لن تنسى أبداً ما حدث لجنودها في ذلك اليوم”، في إشارة إلى مقتل 241 مقاتلاً، بينهم 220 جندياً أميركياً من قوات “المارينز” و20 جندياً من أفراد الخدمة الآخرين، بالإضافة إلى عشرات آخرين من جنود من القوات الدولية لكل من بريطانيا وفرنسا وإيطاليا. وتوعّد “بفرض إجراءات إضافية تستهدف” ما أسماه “تفكيك الأنشطة الإرهابية لحزب الله”. وفي التفاصيل، وبحسب ما أوردت صحيفة “الاخبار” أن الكونغرس مرّر قبل حوالى الأسبوعين مشروع القانون الذي يفرض عقوبات جديدة ضد الحزب، والتي “تهدف إلى الحد من قدرته على جمع الأموال وتجنيد عناصر له، إضافة إلى زيادة الضغط على المصارف التي تتعامل معه وعلى البلدان التي تدعمه، وعلى رأسها إيران”. وتمنع العقوبات الجديدة أي شخص يدعم الحزب مادياً أو بطرق أخرى من دخول الولايات المتحدة. كذلك، يعطي القانون الرئيس الأميركي صلاحية رفع حظر إعطاء تأشيرات الدخول بشرط أن يبلّغ الكونغرس بقراره في فترة لا تتجاوز ستة أشهر، وعلى أن يقدم أدلة للكونغرس تشير إلى أن قراره يصب في مصلحة الأمن القومي الأميركي. ويلزم القانون الإدارة بتقديم تقرير علني يوضح أصول القيادات في حزب الله وشركائها، بمن فيهم نوّاب من الحكومة اللبنانية المتحالفون معها، وتحديد ما إذا كان يجب إدراج نواب حزب الله على لائحة “داعمي الإرهاب”. كما يفرض المشروع عقوبات على داعمي بيت المال، وجهاد البناء، ومجموعة دعم المقاومة، وقسم العلاقات الخارجية للحزب، وقسم الأمن الخارجي للحزب، وتلفزيون “المنار”، وإذاعة “النور” و”المجموعة الإعلامية اللبنانية”.

 

ترامب يوقع قانونا جديداً ضد حزب الله يحرج الحكومة والحلفاء
جنوبية 26/ جنوبية/18/ما الجديد الذي يحمله القانون الجديد الذي وقعه الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ضد حزب الله؟
العقوبات الأميركية الجديدة ليست على حزب الله، بل على المتعاونين معه، فهذه المرة يركز قانون العقوبات الذي اقره الكونغرس على المتعاونين من مؤسسات رسمية مع حزب الله والذي وقعه دونالد ترامب اليوم (الجمعة) في أجواء الذكرى السنوية لتفجير مقر المارينز ومقر المظليين الفرنسيين في بيروت بتشرين الأول (أكتوبر) عام 1983 ، وقبل أيام من بدء تنفيذ الحزمة الجديدة من العقوبات على ايران في مطله الشهر المقبل، الجديد في القانون انه يتيح للرئيس الأميركي تحديد الجهات المستهدفة دون الرجوع الى الكونغرس ومن ضمنها حكومات او أي جهات رسمية، ما يعني ان الحكومة اللبنانية فضلا عن الحكومة السورية هما الأكثر عرضة لمخاطر العقوبات، وبالتالي فان السؤال الذي يطرح على هذا الصعيد، هل أن واشنطن تتجه الى اتخاذ إجراءات ضد الحكومة اللبنانية في المرحلة المقبلة، أم أن الرئيس ترامب سيعمد الى استخدام القانون في سبيل تحقيق اهداف معينة من دون أن يضطر الى تطبيقه. الجديد في هذه العقوبات أيضا، أن التعامل مع حزب الله يطرح أسئلة حول إمكانية تنفيذها على مؤسسات رسمية كالمجالس البلدية على سبيل المثال، لاسيما تلك التي يديرها حزب الله سواء في الجنوب او البقاع او الضاحية الجنوبية وغيرها، فضلا عن المتعاملين مع مؤسسات إعلامية تابعة لحزب الله بطريقة مباشرة او غير مباشرة، وغيرها من مؤسسات التي تتواصل مع حزب الله سواء كانت سياسية او رسمية. العقوبات في مضمونها كارثي في حال جرى تطبيقة، وسيكون كذلك على لبنان من الناحية الاقتصادية، ربما يراهن بعض المسؤولين في لبنان على عدم قيام الإدارة الأميركية بتطبيقه حرفياً، لأسباب تقديرية هم يرونها، لكن ماذا لو طبق الاميركيون العقوبات فكيف سيتعامل اركان السلطة معها؟ الأرجح أن العقوبات التي ستنفذها واشنطن، هي ليست عقوبات من طبيعة عقابية او انتقامية، بل يمكن ان تشكل عنصراً حيوياً في عملية الدفع من أجل نقل لبنان من ثنائية الدولة-الدويلة، وسيطرة الميليشيا الى الدولة الواحدة، وقد لا تحقق هذه العقوبات هذا الهدف، فحينها ستكون النتيجة المزيد من انتقال لبنان الى صفوف الدول المارقة. المهمة المطروحة على ما تبقى من الدولة اللبنانية هو الإجابة على سؤال هل لبنان دولة مؤسسات وذات سيادة ام هي دولة للاستخدام من قبل سلطة حزب الله، هذا السؤال الجوهري الذي صار ملحاً اكثر من أي وقت مضى هو ما سيقرر اثر العقوبات وحجمه فضلا عن الاضطرار الى تطبيقه. وكان مجلس الشيوخ الأمريكي صوّت على مشروع قانون في الثاني عشر من الجاري، وسبقه تصويت في مجلس النواب في أيلول. واستهدف القانون كل من يمول الميليشيات ويزودها بالأسلحة، وهو نسخة معززة من عقوبات سابقة، لكنها أقسى.

 

Donald Trump signs Hezbollah financial sanctions into US law
Joyce Karam/The National/October 26/18
The US President announced the new law following an event commemorating victims of the 1983 Marines Barracks bombing in Lebanon.After its unanimous passage in the House and Senate, US President Donald Trump signed into law the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act (HIFPAA) on Thursday, putting into effect a new set of sanctions that targets the Lebanese militant group and its financial support network. Following an event to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Marines Barracks bombing in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon, the US President signed the legislation into law. “Thirty-five years ago, 241 American service members were murdered in the terrorist attack on our Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon,” Mr Trump said in a gathering with survivors and the families of the victims at the White House. In a statement, the White House accused Hezbollah of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering American citizens, “including in its brutal attack in 1983 on our Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 241 American Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers, wounded 128 other American service members.” It described the Lebanese armed group as “a radical Islamist terrorist organisation and close partner and proxy of the Iranian regime.” HIFPAA, the White House said, “will further isolate Hezbollah from the international financial system and reduce its funding” and “target foreign persons and government agencies that knowingly assist or support” the group. The HIFPAA legislation could complicate funding channels for Hezbollah by going after foreign individuals and companies that voluntarily provide financial, material or technological support to the and its affiliates. It targets Hezbollah-controlled social and financial organisations such as Bayt al Mal, the Islamic Resistance Support Association, Jihad al Binaa, the Foreign Relations Department of Hezballah, Al Manar TV, Al Nour Radio, and the Lebanese Media Group with sanctions. The bill also requires the president to report to Congress on Hezbollah’s transnational activity, including any money laundering and narcotics activities across Latin America, the African continent or Asia and Europe. The bill does not exclude state sponsors of the Lebanese party whether in Lebanon or outside from its reach. This pressure may complicate matters for the party inside Lebanon, argued Randa Slim, a director of the track II dialogues programme at the Middle East Institute. Ms Slim, who has extensively studied Hezbollah, told The National that the new law “weakens Hezbollah’s financial situation which has already been weakened by four factors.” These include the costs of Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria; US sanctions on Iran which are cutting into Hezbollah’s money supply from Tehran; fears among Hezbollah’s Lebanese Shia financiers after the arrest and extradition to US of Kassim Tajeddine, a major Hezbollah financier who was arrested in Morocco last year, and worsening economic conditions in Lebanon which put more strains on the group’s core constituency. Asked if the sanctions would affect Hezbollah’s share in the future Lebanese government, Ms Slim did not expect major changes on that front. “This has already been factored into their calculus” she said. The US has voiced its opposition to Lebanese officials to Hezbollah taking key ministries with high revenues such as health or public works in any future government

 

White House: The President Just Signed This Law to Isolate Hezbollah
R. Mitchell/CDN/October 25, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement late Thursday saying that President Donald Trump had signed a law that will isolate Hizbollah (Hezbollah) from the international banking system.
Today, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act (HIFPAA) of 2018, which imposes additional hard-hitting sanctions on Hizballah, a radical Islamist terrorist organization and close partner and proxy of the Iranian regime. Hizballah has kidnapped, tortured, and murdered American citizens, including in its brutal attack in 1983 on our Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 241 American Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers, wounded 128 other American service members, and killed a Lebanese civilian. Another bombing against the French barracks killed 58 French peacekeepers and five Lebanese civilians.This evening, President Trump commemorated the 35th anniversary of the attack in Beirut on the Marine Barracks with survivors and family members of the victims. The United States will never forget the precious lives lost that day, and will continue to honor their memory by taking action against their murderers. Under President Trumps leadership, the United States has imposed historic sanctions on Hizballah and its chief ally: the corrupt Iranian regime. This past year, we levied more sanctions on Hizballah than we have imposed on the organization in any other year. Additionally, on November 5th, all United States nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, lifted under the horrible, one-sided Iran nuclear deal, will be reimposed in full force. The legislation that President Trump signed into law today will further isolate Hizballah from the international financial system and reduce its funding. These sanctions will target foreign persons and government agencies that knowingly assist or support Hizballah, and Hizballah-affiliated networks that engage in drug trafficking or other transnational crime. We thank Senators Crapo, Brown, Rubio, and Shaheen and Representatives Royce and Engel for working with the Administration on this important legislation to counter Irans Hizballah proxy.

U.S. Sanctions on Iran Put Financial Pressure on Hizbullah
اسوشيتد برس: العقوبات الأميركية على إيران تتسبب بضغوطات مالية على حزب الله
Associated Press/Naharnet/October 26/18/Giant posters on the streets of Beirut’s southern suburbs display an armed Hizbullah fighter in uniform, holding the group’s yellow banner and Lebanon’s national flag, along with phone numbers where supporters can make donations to the Iran-backed guerrilla force. “He who equips a warrior is part of the battle,” the posters declare, quoting a saying from Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. Hizbullah’s calls for donations have intensified in past months as the group and its main backer Iran come under increasing financial pressure under sanctions from the Trump administration. Washington has imposed sanctions on the militant group for decades. But a new wave this year appears to be more serious about targeting Hizbullah’s top leadership as well as businessmen and companies that Washington says are funding the group. On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation imposing new sanctions against Hizbullah at a White House event marking the 35th anniversary of the Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 Marines. The bill expands the list of those who can be sanctioned for doing business with Hizbullah.
On Oct. 15, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions designated Hizbullah as one of five groups considered top transnational organized crime threats. Iran, facing its own financial crises, has also reportedly cut back on funding for Hizbullah and Shiite militias it supports in Iraq.
Iran touts itself as the leader of the so-called “Axis of Resistance,” grouping the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, Shiite militias in Iraq, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Shiite gunmen in Yemen known as the Huthis. The U.S. State Department said in July that Iran has spent over $16 billion since 2012 supporting Assad and its proxies in Iraq and in Yemen, and it also gives $700 million a year to Hizbullah. It has also given the Syrian government $4 billion in lines of credit, it says.
Hizbullah’s budget has already been hurt ever since it became heavily involved in Syria’s civil war in 2013, sending fighters to back Assad’s forces and helping turn the conflict in his favor. An estimated 2,000 of its fighters have been killed and thousands more wounded, some with permanent disabilities. That only adds to the costs, since the group pays stipends to families of “martyrs” and provides health care for fighters. Recently, its leadership started to publicly acknowledge the strain.”I won’t say that the sanctions will not have an effect … They will have an effect for sure,” Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech in August.
He vowed the sanctions won’t diminish the group’s power. “We have the strength, infrastructure and human resources to get through these difficulties, God willing,” he said.
In a closed meeting around the same time, he told Hizbullah cadres, “We have to tighten belts a bit,” according to Ibrahim Bayram, an expert on Shiite affairs who writes about Hizbullah for Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper and was informed about the meeting.
The group is taking measures to reduce expenses, such as bringing down the number of fighters in Syria, especially now that Assad’s military has taken back greater territory from his opponents, Bayram told The Associated Press. But he said it was not cutting back on stipends for families, medical care and retirement payments.
A Lebanese citizen who has relatives in the group said it has pulled back some fighters in Syria, though it maintains its presence in eastern Deir el-Zour province and in the south, where fighting continues with the Islamic State group, and in Quseir, a town near the border with Lebanon that has been a Hizbullah stronghold for five years.
It has also asked some full-time fighters to spend more time at home when there is no need for them and has reduced movements of vehicles to cut transportation costs, he said. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the group’s internal activities.
Despite the tightening, the group hardly seems to be diminished from its status as the strongest fighting force in Lebanon — and one of the strongest in Syria — boasting an arsenal of rockets and a powerful political structure. Even if other funding streams are under strain, Hizbullah can still count on public contributions, which stream in through tens of thousands of metal donation boxes placed in shops, streets, mosques and schools in predominantly Shiite areas of Lebanon.
Its patron Iran, meanwhile, is facing deep economic woes.
Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear accord with Iran, although the United Nations has repeatedly acknowledged Tehran was living up to the terms of the deal. Trump said he wanted stricter terms to limit Iran’s ballistic missile program, curtail its regional influence and forever limit its nuclear activities.
Crushing U.S. oil sanctions on Iran will resume in early November and already, American allies in Asia are cutting back on their purchases of Iranian crude. While European nations say they want the deal to continue, U.S. clout in global financial markets led oil companies and airplane manufacturers to withdraw from working in Iran. Iran’s currency, the rial, has plummeted in value, and the downturn has sparked protests.
Another ally of Iran, the Yemeni rebels known as the Huthis, are also preparing for difficult times, especially as their opponents, a Saudi-led coalition, besieges the port of Hodeida, a major source of income for the group. The rebels have sharply increased taxes on merchants and businesses.
Iranian-backed militias in Iraq are buffered to an extent from any financial crunch because they also get funding from the Baghdad government, which is nominally a U.S. ally. The militias are part of the government-sanctioned paramilitary group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, with some 100,000 fighters, who get salaries and equipment from the state.
Many of the militias also profit from businesses they run on the side.
An official with Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah, one of the main groups backed by Tehran, even said his group could help Lebanon’s Hizbullah financially if need be. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal workings. “We can last this way for three years,” he said.