BEIRUT: The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday passed an amended version of a bill aimed at preventing Hezbollah from receiving financing through international institutions.
Committee Chairman Ed Royce said: “The threat posed by Hezbollah’s global operations has exploded. Underpinning that development is a financing and logistical network. In 2011, we saw the tip of the iceberg when a massive Hezbollah drug and money laundering operation was uncovered.
“To deter dealings with Hezbollah, the bill targets those financial institutions that knowingly do business with what has been called the ‘A-team’ of terrorists.”
The Hezbollah International Financial Prevention Act of 2014 was introduced by Republican Mark Meadows and introduced on April 3.
Lawmakers at the time said Hezbollah continued to “pose a threat to the United States, our allies and interests throughout the Middle East, and well beyond.”
The U.S. announced last August that it was sanctioning Hezbollah over its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, a largely symbolic move as the group has been subject to financial restrictions since it was classed as a terrorist group in 1995. In September, the U.S. imposed further sanctions against Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah for assisting the Syrian regime.
The bill will now advance to the full House of Representatives. It must also be approved by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 27, 2014, on page 3.