US slaps new sanctions on Iran-backed Shia militias

US slaps new sanctions on Iran-backed Shia militias
The State Department applied the sanctions on the three Shia militias for violating a law that restricts weapons transfers involving Iran, Syria and North Korea.
2 min read
10 August, 2021
Hezbollah are on the list of banned organisations [Getty]

The US State Department on Monday slapped new sanctions on three major Iran-backed Shia militias in Lebanon and Iraq for violating a weapons transfer law.

The measures target Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iraq's Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq, all of which are backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Two Syrian companies, Wael Issa Trading Establishment and Ayman Al Sabbagh Trading, were also targeted by the sanctions, as were three Russian firms – Charter Green Light Moscow, Asia-Invest LLC and NPP Pulsar LLC. 

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Introduced in 2000, the non-proliferation law was originally meant to target weapons transfers to or from Iran, but was later updated to include Syria and North Korea.

As per the ban, no US government departments, agencies, or personnel can sign contracts with or assist the sanctioned entities.

Arms sales to the groups are also banned.

All three of the militias have been targeted by US sanctions before.

Lebanese individuals linked with Hezbollah were most recently targeted with US sanctions in May.

Washington designated Asaib Ahl Al-Haq as a terrorist organisation in January 2020.

Kataib Hebzollah was designated as a terrorist organisation by the US in 2009. Two of the militia's websites were seized by the US Treasury in March and in June, and one of its senior leaders was sanctioned in January of this year.