US President Donald Trump Wednesday extended a national emergency concerning Lebanon because of Iran’s arms transfers to Hezbollah, which presents an “extraordinary threat to America’s national security,” according to a statement from the White House.
Using similar language to previous extensions that Trump has signed regarding the national emergency for Lebanon, the US president said that “Iran’s continuing arms transfers to Hezbollah, which include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems,” were undermining Lebanese sovereignty and contributing to political and economic instability in the region.
Hezbollah also continues “to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Trump said.
Then-President George W. Bush declared the national emergency in 2007.
The order allows for the blocking of property belonging to those deemed as “undermining the sovereignty of Lebanon or its democratic processes and institutions.”
Trump Wednesday said that the measures initially adopted to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect for another year.
Other threats were a result of certain people trying to undermine Lebanon’s democratic institutions and contributing to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Lebanon, the statement said.
This includes “politically motivated violence and intimidation, to reassert Syrian control or contribute to Syrian interference in Lebanon, or to infringe upon or undermine Lebanese sovereignty.
“Such actions contribute to political and economic instability in that country and the region,” Trump said.