U.S Department of State
Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
December 13, 2019
Today, as the Lebanese people demand reform and an end to corruption, the United States has designated two prominent Lebanese businessmen whose illicit financial activities, including money laundering and tax evasion, have provided financial support for Hizballah. This action applies to two Hizballah financiers, one of their business partners, and 17 affiliated entities, pursuant to E.O. 13224.
The United States strongly supports the Lebanese people’s demands for reform and an end to corruption. Over the coming months, we plan to accelerate our work to counter corruption and end terrorist financing.
Nazem Ahmad and Saleh Assi’s years of illegitimate business activity to gather and funnel illicit proceeds to Hizballah demonstrate yet again that Hizballah is concerned first and foremost with funding itself and disregards the interests of Lebanon and the Lebanese people. Ahmad and Assi have concealed their illicit revenue from the Lebanese government through means including money laundering, trafficking in conflict diamonds, and tax evasion. They have thereby deprived Lebanon of much-needed tax revenue to ensure there was more money for Hizballah and themselves.
We will continue to use all tools at our disposal to counter the threat Hizballah poses to stability in Lebanon and in the Middle East. More and more countries have publicly recognized Hizballah for what it is: a terrorist group. The designations of Ahmad and Assi, their associate Tony Saab, and their affiliated companies are one tool the United States has deployed to disrupt Hizballah’s financial facilitation networks and increase pressure on the group. We will continue to bring pressure on Hizballah and those who support it until Hizballah abandons its terrorist activity.
For more information on today’s designations, please refer to the U.S. Department of the Treasury: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm856.