Pressure from US to cut off funding for Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon’s treasury

An anonymous Lebanese Treasury official told the Saudi-affiliated media source, Al-Arabia, on Sunday that Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Asia and the Middle East in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, Jesse Baker, demanded Lebanese officials stop and prevent the funneling of financial aid from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas, on Thursday.

The Treasury official also said that Baker informed them of “specific concerns” about “the movement of Hamas funds through Lebanon” as well as funds that relate to Hezbollah. According to the official, Baker also called for “proactive measures” to prevent this from happening in the future.

The official added that the groups require these funds so they might pay their fighters and continue to operate to achieve their aims.

Compliance with counterterrorism financial reforms

He expressed that showing compliance with global anti-money-laundering and counterterrorism financing standards is vital for Lebanon, and is important when trying to entice international investments.

He further informed the Saudi media outlet that Baker requested that Lebanon act harshly towards a large sector of illegal financial service companies that have been flourishing due to the collapse of the country’s formal bank system and provide financial solutions to embargoed organizations.

Hamas spokesperson in Lebanon said that he “has no information” on the matter, while the Lebanese main bank’s spokesperson defined the meeting as “very positive.”