Hezbollah supporters
Hezbollah supporters Reuters

A Lebanese bank which was sanctioned by the US Treasury for “knowingly facilitating banking activities” for Hezbollah has denied the charges.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Jammal Trust Bank on Thursday.

The bank said in a statement quoted by The Associated Press that it learned about the sanctions “with great surprise” and “denies each and every allegation” on which the Treasury based its action.

The bank further said it is committed to “abiding strictly by Central Bank of Lebanon rules and regulations, as well as all international rules and regulations on countering money laundering and financing of terrorism.”

It added it would take appropriate steps in order “to clear its good name” and would appeal the Treasury’s decision.

The US sanctions mean that any link with US citizens or institutions is no longer allowed, which is likely to severely curtail activities.

The sanctions are the latest step that Washington has taken against Hezbollah.

In July, the US Treasury placed two Hezbollah members of Lebanon's parliament on its sanctions blacklist, marking the first time Washington has taken aim at the Iran-allied group's elected politicians.

Last October, President Donald Trump signed new sanctions targeting Hezbollah.

A week earlier, five groups, including Hezbollah, were designated as transnational criminal organizations to target with tougher investigations and prosecutions.

Before that, the Treasury sanctioned one of the financiers of Hezbollah and its representative to Iran, as well as five entities based in Europe.

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