The U.S. House of Representatives is reportedly preparing a bill that will impose tougher new sanctions against Hezbollah, according to a report An Nahar daily on Saturday.
The new sanctions against the party were reportedly discussed during the latest monthly meeting between the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL), the Banking Control Commission of Lebanon and the Association of Banks in Lebanon, said the daily.
Vice Governor of BDL Mohammed Baasiri, who returned from a recent visit to the U.S., told the participants that committees at the U.S. House of Representatives are preparing a bill that will “tighten and expand” sanctions against Hezbollah, according to the daily.
The Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group is listed as a “terrorist” group in the United States and entities linked to it are also under sanctions.
This development comes after U.S. authorities last month charged a Lebanese businessman with evading sanctions placed against him because of his alleged support for e Hezbollah militant movement.
Kassim Tajideen, 62, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., on March 24 , and will be held in jail until a detention hearing in late March the Justice Department said in a statement.
Tajideen had been arrested on March 12 in Morocco on an international warrant issued by Interpol’s Washington office.
U.S. authorities said Tajideen ran a multi-billion-dollar “global business empire” that traded in commodities across the Middle East and Africa. In 2009, U.S. authorities placed Tajideen on a sanction blacklist because of his alleged support for Hezbollah.
Tajideen’s arrest and indictment followed a two-year investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and assisted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Justice Department said in a statement.
“Tajideen acted as a key source of funds for (Hezbollah’s) global terror network,” Raymond Donovan, a DEA special agent in charge of the Special Operations Division, said in the statement last month.
By restructuring the company and using a complex web of trade names, U.S. authorities say Tajideen was able to hide his involvement and continue doing business with U.S. companies.