Lebanon’s central bank will comply with U.S. finance law targeting Hezbollah



The flag of Lebanon. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) The head of Lebanon’s powerful central bank said that it will comply with a United States finance law that targets the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Last December, the U.S. government passed the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, which aims to sanction international financial institutions that knowingly facilitate Hezbollah’s activities. 

“The U.S. law has to be implemented worldwide and in Lebanon,” said Riad Salameh, governor of Lebanon’s central bank, Reuters reported. “It is not possible to guarantee credit stability if [the central bank] does not implement the U.S. law.”

“If we do not do that...our banking sector could become isolated from the world,” he said.

Lebanon’s banking sector, which accounts for 6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), is one of the few institutions within Lebanon that isn’t dysfunctional or corrupt. Salameh said that banks intending to close the accounts of individuals or organizations violating the U.S. law will need to wait for a response from the central bank’s Special Investigation Committee. 

Hezbollah enjoys deep ties and support within Lebanon’s Shi’a Muslim community. Its members include high-profile government ministers, politicians, and other local officials. 

Posted on May 17, 2016 .