Treasury Dept. Designates Hassan Nasrallah
How sanctions linking Hezbollah chief to Assad regime could pay dividends
An important piece of information that got lost in the blitz of news yesterday concerns Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, who has just been designated by the good folks at the United States Treasury. The move implicates Nasrallah for providing assistance to the Assad regime as it tries (by some increasingly disgusting tactics) to crush the uprising in Syria.
Why is this important? Despite the fact that Nasrallah has been subject to sanctions since 1995 and that this new move makes little difference domestically, the act sends a signal to Europe. In the past, the United States has had difficulty wrangling Europe into making Hezbollah a target of sanctions because the EU considers the group to be a political organization. But recently, a chorus has grown louder to commit to pushing harsher measures against Syria and its supporters.
Britain and the Netherlands urged other EU governments on Friday to join the United States in imposing sanctions on the Lebanese political and militant group Hezbollah for providing support to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the European Union should brand Hezbollah a terrorist organization, a move that would enable the bloc to freeze the group’s assets in Europe.
“We have for quite some time now argued that effective European measures should be taken against Hezbollah,” Rosenthal said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Cyprus to discuss the EU’s response to the Syrian crisis.
By linking Nasrallah and Hezbollah (which the Treasury targeted last month) to the Syrian regime, the door swings open for an international coalition to finally put the squeeze on Hezbollah.
I spoke with a former treasury official who described the move as “significant,” adding “it may help advance efforts in Europe to extend sanctions against a group the US has targeted under terrorism authorities for years.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.