American efforts to cut the flow of funds to the Hezbollah organization — the Iranian regime’s proxy in Lebanon — took another step forward this week as the Senate passed the boosted Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act.
Previously passed by the House of Representatives in September, the legislation, which was approved by the Senate on Thursday night, strengthens and expands the scope of economic and financial sanctions imposed by earlier legislation in 2015. It targets foreign governments that knowingly provide significant arms, combat or financial support to Hezbollah, as well as foreign individuals and companies that aid its fundraising or recruitment activities.
Among the key provisions are sanctions on foreign individuals and companies that aid Hezbollah’s funding and recruiting drives, including the provision of support to its media outlets, as well as sanctions that target Hezbollah’s criminal empire, especially its drug trafficking activities in Latin America.
The US president is also authorized to strengthen oversight procedures for American banks that maintain specific relationships with foreign banks who operate in parts of the world where there is a Hezbollah presence.
A bipartisan measure, the legislation combating Hezbollah was introduced in the Senate by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and in the House by Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).