The U.S. designated two former Lebanese ministers for having delivered “material support to Hizbollah and engaged in corruption”. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin contended that “corruption has run rampant in Lebanon, and Hizbollah has exploited the political system to spread its malign influence”. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued that “Lebanese politicians who have provided a false veneer of political legitimacy to Hizbollah or abused their positions to direct public funds to the terrorist group are as responsible for its entrenched influence as Hizbollah’s own members or the corrupt businessmen and money launderers that have helped fund the group for decades”. “Anyone helping to advance Hizbollah’s political or economic interests is further eroding what remains of effective governance and facilitating financing for terrorism”, he added. Hizbollah reacted with a statement declaring that “it is a badge of honor for the two dear friends and all who are accused by the U.S. administration of being resistant… all what is issued by the U.S. administration is denounced and rejected”.
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