WASHINGTON — The State Department on Tuesday designated the son of Hezbollah’s leader as a “global terrorist” amid growing pressure by the Trump administration on the Iranian government.
“The actions we’re announcing today are one more step in our campaign to build the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran,” said State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator Nathan Sales “More sanctions are coming.”
The designation of Jawad Nasrallah, son of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, means any of his assets or property under U.S. jurisdiction will be blocked because he poses “a significant risk” of committing acts of terrorism against U.S. interests and citizens.
The State Department also announced multi-million dollars rewards for information leading to the capture of other Hamas and Hezbollah leaders.
Just a week ago, the Trump administration reinstated global sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking industries that were briefly eased under Washington’s nuclear agreement with Tehran.
“Today’s announcements are about increasing our pressure campaign on Iran proper but also on the various different proxies that Iran uses throughout the region and around the world,” Sales said. “Today is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The designation on Nasrallah’s son coincided with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri blaming of Hezbollah for the country’s continued inability to form a new government.
The State Department also announced rewards for information leading to the capture of other Hamas and Hezbollah leaders.
Hamas’ Salih Al-Aruri and Hezbollah’s Khalil Yusif Harb and Haytham ‘Ali Tabataba’i have up to $5 million rewards for their capture under the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program.
Al-Aruri is a senior Hamas leader and founder of the al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza. He is believed to live in Lebanon.
Sales said the State Department expects the Lebanese government “to crack down on terrorists within its borders.”
Officials pointed to Al-Aruri’s alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage boys in 2014 as reason for the reward.
Though Al-Aruri boasted of the murders at the time, the Israeli defense establishment does not believe he was involved, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
A cease-fire was reached between Israel and Hamas after a weekend Israeli raid triggered intense fighting in Gaza on Monday.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert called for “a sustained halt” of Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, but would not comment on Israel’s decision to conduct a secret raid in the occupied territories.