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US launches effort to fight illegal Iranian economic activity

Last August, the United States created the Iran Action Group, “responsible for directing, reviewing and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity.”

A view north of Tehran, home to nearly 50 percent of Iran's industries. Credit: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons.
A view north of Tehran, home to nearly 50 percent of Iran's industries. Credit: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons.

The United States has launched an effort to combat illicit Iranian economic activity worldwide, which includes funding terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, reported Israel Hayom on Friday.

The initiative also includes a pressure campaign on Iran in world bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization founded by countries in the Group of Seven to fight money laundering. The G7 includes the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan.

Along with its own measures, the United States has asked various numerous European countries to target Iran’s economic activities on their soil.

“American officials have told their European counterparts that the administration was prepared to invest considerable resources to expose Iran’s financial operations, and would share its information with European authorities to help them indict the perpetrators,” reported Israel Hayom. “The administration is still waiting for the European response.”

Last August, the United States created the Iran Action Group, “responsible for directing, reviewing and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity.”

Two months later, the U.S. Department of Justice designated Hezbollah as a transnational crime group, officially making the Lebanese terrorist group the highest priority of law enforcement.

The DOJ also created the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team, which consists of prosecutors who have fought against terrorism, organized crime, money-laundering and international narcotics trafficking.

In 2017, Politico exposed Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operation, all ignored by the Obama administration, despite overwhelming evidence in a law-enforcement effort called “Project Cassandra,” in order to strike a nuclear deal with Iran, which supports the terrorist group.

Following the bombshell, then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a DOJ review “to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”

Friday’s development comes despite America indirectly helps Hezbollah by training and supporting the Lebanese government and the Lebanese Armed Forces, which align with the U.S.-designated terrorist group.

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