The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday against former Lebanese finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil (2014-2020). This is stated in a statement by the US Treasury Department.
Khalil also served as the country’s Minister of Health (2011-2014). Former Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transport, Yousef Fenianos (2016-2020), who provided material support to [the Lebanese Shiite movement] Hezbollah and engaged in corruption, was also blacklisted. The US Treasury Department reminded that some Lebanese politicians are colluding with Hezbollah to the detriment of the Lebanese people and state institutions.
“Corruption is rampant in Lebanon and Hezbollah is exploiting the political system to spread its harmful influence,” said US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin. “The United States supports the people of Lebanon in their calls for reform and will continue to use its authority to persecute those who oppress and exploit them.”
“Lebanese political leaders have ignored their commitments to solve the problems of their people for too long and have instead built a political system that serves their private interests. The August 4 bombing in the port of Beirut is the latest and tragic testament to Lebanon’s dysfunctional political system, which has also allowed the terrorist group to hold the country’s leadership hostage to its own agenda, ”said US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in response to the sanctions.
According to him, Fenianos and Khalil helped Hezbollah win government contracts worth millions of dollars, as well as transfer funds from ministries to the movement’s accounts. The chief of American diplomacy believes that Hezbollah owes its existence to the corrupt political system of Lebanon.
Blacklisting means a freeze on assets in the United States and a ban on American citizens or companies from doing business with those involved.