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Congress & the Middle East:

Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015

The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, passed in December 2015, was aimed at stifling the finances of the Hezbollah terror organization. The legislation gave the President authority to prohibit foreign banks from engaging in business dealings with the terror group, and instructed the Treasury Department to ban or levy sanctions on any financial institution that supports Hezbollah. The House passed this legislation with a unanimous vote of 425-0. To read the text of this legislation please click here. 

The U.S. Treasury Department named the first Hezbollah supporters to be sanctioned under this act on January 7, 2016. Hezbollah supporter and financier Ali Youssef Charara and Lebanon-based Spectrum Investment Group Holding SAL have received millions of dollars from Hezbollah to invest in support of their projects and activities, according to the sanctions. This announcement froze all assets associated with Charara and Spectrum Investment Holding Group within the United States, and prohibited U.S. citizens from interacting with them. Charara has also engaged in oil ventures with Hezbollah members and supporters that have produced revenues supporting the terror group. To read the press release from the U.S. treasury detailing these sanctions, please click here