Berri: US sanctions on Hezbollah officials ‘assault against parliament, Lebanon’
New US sanctions against Hezbollah, including two Lebanese lawmakers, amount to an assault on the country and its parliament, Speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday.
The US Treasury imposed sanctions on three top officials from Iran-backed Hezbollah on Tuesday: Amin Sherri and Muhammad Raad, members of Lebanon’s parliament, as well as Wafiq Sada, who coordinates with Lebanon’s security agencies.
It marks the first time the US Treasury has designated a Lebanese MP under a sanctions list targeting those accused of supporting terrorist organizations. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions were part of efforts to counter Hezbollah’s “corrupting influence” in Lebanon.
Washington classifies Hezbollah, a heavily armed Shi’ite political and military movement that wields major influence in Lebanon, as a terrorist group.
“It is an assault on the parliament and as a result an assault on all of Lebanon,” Berri, a Shi’ite ally of Hezbollah, said in a statement.
Lebanon’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds fell and the cost of insuring exposure