Saudi Arabia classifies Lebanese association as terrorist entity for links with Hezbollah
Saudi Arabia has classified the Lebanon-based Al-Qard Al-Hassan association as a terrorist entity, citing links to activities supporting the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, state media reported on Wednesday.
“The association works on the management of the funds of the terrorist organization (Hezbollah) and its financing, including support for military purposes,” the state news agency said, citing a security statement. The press release specifies that all assets belonging to the association within the kingdom must be frozen and “it is forbidden to carry out direct or indirect transactions with or for the benefit of the association”.
In May, the United States called on governments around the world to take action against the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on seven Lebanese nationals who it said were linked to the group and its finance company, Al-Qard Al-Hassan. Saudi Arabia has avoided Lebanon for years because of Hezbollah’s strong influence in the affairs of the Lebanese state, which it says has also sent fighters to Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting another group aligned with Iran, the Houthi movement.
Iran and Saudi Arabia, the main Shiite and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, have been rivals for years and severed diplomatic ties in 2016.
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