By Jamie Crawford
The United States sanctioned four senior members of Hezbollah on Thursday for their alleged roles in facilitating terrorist activity in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other countries.
The Lebanon-based Shiite organization, which is a member of the Lebanese government, has already been branded a terrorist group by the United States.
"Whether ferrying foreign fighters to the front lines of the Syrian civil war or inserting clandestine operatives in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere, Hezbollah remains a significant global terrorist threat," said David Cohen, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
Those sanctioned include Khalil Harb, who once headed a unit dedicated to terror activities in countries surrounding Israel, Treasury said.
Muhammad Kawtharani, said to be the leader of Hezbollah's operations in Iraq, was also named.
Treasury said Kawtharani was involved in funneling fighters from Iraq into Syria to support the government of Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are fighting rebels in a civil war.
Two others were sanctioned for their alleged roles in targeting tourist destinations in Egypt popular with Israelis and other international travelers, as well as transporting arms and equipment to Palestinian militants.
Cohen told reporters that Hezbollah is sustained by "very significant" level of funding by the Iranian government in the range of "millions and millions of dollars" over the years.
Hezbollah has been implicated in the bombing of a bus in Bulgaria last year that killed five Israeli tourists, along with targeting diplomats in Thailand and India.
The latest action freezes any U.S.-related assets held by the four men and prohibits any American from doing business with them.
Cohen also touched on the "practical impact" such designations have beyond U.S. borders.
"We have got extensive examples where we know that financial institutions around the world have taken account of the designations we make and bar the financial activity of those being designated," he said.