Six Hezbollah leaders are now on the terror lists of six Gulf countries and the US. The background of this issue is also important.
In May last year, the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center was inaugurated after the memorandum of understanding was signed between Gulf states and the US in Riyadh while President Donald Trump was visiting.
It is true that these six people listed do not have Saudi or Gulf bank accounts and do not visit these countries or the US, but blacklisting them is part of a confrontation policy that aims to restrict Iran and its agents in the region.
Iran has arms and militias and it is involved in fighting in a number of countries in the region and outside of it. However, we do not want opposing countries to pursue this same approach of spreading violenceAbdulrahman al-Rashed
Before this announcement was made, the activity of financial institutions detected in the UAE was halted because they were transferring money to Iran. A few days before that, the al-Bilad Islamic Bank in Iraq was blacklisted according to a statement issued by the US Treasury which is a member of the International Center.
Significance of listing Hezbollah leaders
Listing six Hezbollah leaders can be seen as a move that distinguishes between Lebanon and Hezbollah although the latter always seeks to combine these two entities and make the six million hostages in the country pay the price for any punishment imposed on it.
The coordination between the seven countries against Iran’s activities is relatively old but it has become stronger after the US withdrew from the nuclear deal as Washington has actually engaged in the economic sanctions that were halted during the last three years.
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Iran has arms and militias and it is involved in fighting in a number of countries in the region and outside of it. However, we do not want opposing countries to pursue this same approach of spreading violence.
The weapons that these opposing countries and their allies use are economic, technical and informational. After Washington announced activating economic sanctions, the Iranian currency dropped to a point of collapse. Between these two weaponries and war tactics, the Iranian government’s crisis will be more dangerous than that of opposing countries.
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Those who criticize what they view as the region’s countries’ failure because they think the latter must confront Iran using the same weapons of violence and war may not realize that the weapon of economy and boycotts in partnership with major countries is more beneficial. Iran mainly relies on its oil revenues to fund its wars in Syria and Yemen and it funds Hezbollah with around $700 million a year.
It pays most of the budgets of the Hamas Movement in Gaza and the Houthi Movement in Yemen. Except for Syria, the Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards do not directly engage in fighting but they send money, arms and recruiters. Therefore, we are at the gates of a different war.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.