Lebanon

U.S. sanctions Lebanese bank for alleged Hezbollah ties

Hezbollah flag
The Hezbollah flag flying in Lebanon. Photo: Mahmoud Zayat/AFP/Getty Images

Senior Trump administration officials announced new sanctions against Lebanon-based Jammal Trust Bank and its subsidiaries, for allegedly helping Iran wire money to U.S.-designated terror group Hezbollah, according to a press call on Thursday.

Why it matters: U.S. officials said the new sanctions should serve as a warning to other countries that intend to manipulate foreign financial institutions to fund Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. Already, the Iranian economy is struggling due to existing U.S. sanctions that went into effect in mid-2018.

Go deeper: How Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war

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Israel-Iran tensions could threaten prospects for Trump-Rouhani meeting

The Lebanese army and United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon patrolling in the Lebanese village of Aitaroun along the border with Israel.
The Lebanese army and United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon patrolling in the Lebanese village of Aitaroun along the border with Israel. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images.

In the midst of French efforts to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington at the G7 summit in Biarritz, the conflict between Israel and Iran may have entered a dangerous new stage.

Why it matters: French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to ease tensions between the U.S. and Iran and arrange a meeting between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the coming weeks. But an Israeli-Iranian blow up could tank the prospects for any of this.