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Senate Unanimously Passes Rubio, Shaheen, Crapo Bill to Strengthen Anti-Hizballah Sanctions

Oct 6, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. On Thursday, the U.S. Senate, by unanimous consent, passed the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act (S. 1595), bipartisan legislation led by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID). The bill would strengthen and expand the scope of economic and financial sanctions imposed by the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 (Public Law 104-102), which Rubio and Shaheen co-authored with U.S. Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).

“Iranian-backed Hizballah terrorists are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, and continue to pose grave threats to the United States and our allies, including the democratic state of Israel,” said Rubio. “The president and Congress should build on the successes of our 2015 law that targets Hizballah, its proxies and its enablers, and enact this new bill to strengthen international efforts to combat the financing and expansion of Hizballah’s terrorist and missile threats, as well as its narcotics trafficking and other transnational criminal activities. I’m glad the Senate passed our bill, and I look forward to working with the House to enact these provisions into law.”

“I’m proud to once again join Senator Rubio in advancing legislation to inflict additional financial pressure on Iran’s terrorist proxy in Lebanon, Hizballah,” said Shaheen. “Congress should exercise every tool at its disposal to confront Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region outside of the Iran nuclear deal, particularly in Lebanon, where Hizballah continues to stockpile rockets and other weapons that directly threaten our ally Israel and provide military support to the murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. This legislation serves as another reminder that Democrats and Republicans are united in our commitment to confronting this threatening and unacceptable behavior.”

“Hizballah has been long recognized as a destabilizing force in the Middle East,” said Crapo. “This bill will increase economic and logistical sanctions on Hizballah, significantly cutting off the flow of resources toward its fundraising and recruitment activities.”

The Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act would impose new sanctions against foreign individuals and companies that knowingly provide significant financial, material or technological support to entities known to fundraise or recruit on behalf of the Hizballah foreign terrorist organization (FTO), its agents and its affiliates. It would also require the president to report to Congress whether the foreign financial institutions of Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism are facilitating transactions on behalf of Hizballah, and determine whether to impose additional sanctions against them.

In addition, the legislation would impose blocking sanctions against Hizballah for conducting narcotics trafficking and other significant transnational criminal activities, and strengthen reporting requirements on both Hizballah’s racketeering activities and efforts by foreign governments to disrupt Hizballah’s global logistics networks and fundraising, financing and money laundering activities. To further expose the foreign terrorist organization’s rampant corruption, it also requires a report on the estimated net worth of senior Hizballah members and any individuals determined by the president to be senior foreign political figures of Hizballah.