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Trump Signs Legislation to Impose New Sanctions Against Hezbollah

President Trump stands in prayer during a reception commemorating the 35th anniversary of the attack on Beirut Barracks / Getty Images
• October 26, 2018 9:32 am

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President Donald Trump signed legislation on Thursday that imposes new sanctions against Hezbollah, an Iranian backed terror group.

"Over the past year we have levied the highest sanctions ever imposed on Hezbollah in a single year, by far. Just a few moments ago, I signed legislation imposing even more hard-hitting sanctions on Hezbollah to further starve them of their funds. And they are starving for them," Trump said during his remarks marking the 35th anniversary of the attack on U.S. servicemen in Beirut.

The Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act, enacts further sanctions against the terror group and strengthens reporting requirements. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.).

"We will target, disrupt, and dismantle their operational and financing networks of which they had plenty," Trump said. "We will never forget what they did to our great Marines in Beirut."

Hezbollah was behind the bombing the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon where 241 American service members were killed in 1983.

In his remarks, Trump noted how Iran was critical in Hezbollah's creation.

"The attack was carried out by Hezbollah, which Iran was instrumental in founding a year earlier to advance its radical agenda, and remain its main patron today.  And we are doing a big number on Iran today, in case you haven’t noticed," Trump said.

The president added how the sanctions are part of a larger strategy in countering Iran as the country is the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world.

"That is one reason why last year I withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear disaster. On November 5, all U.S. sanctions against Iran lifted by the nuclear deal will be back in full force — every sanction that we had on there originally, which would have — if they would have just left it a little bit longer, it would have been so much easier than what we’ve been through over the last number of years," Trump said. "All they had to do was leave it the way it was. It was eating them away. But we’ve started it all over again, and it will be just as good. Wasted time — and lives, unfortunately. And they will be followed up with even more sanctions to address the full range of Iran’s malign conduct."

Rubio released a statement that praised Trump's comments and urged the administration to continue putting pressure on Iran.

"As Beirut Marine families seek justice in U.S. courts against those responsible for this heinous attack, I urge the Administration, through the Solicitor General, to tell the U.S. Supreme Court that it opposes the Iranian terrorist regime's request to overturn a federal appeals court decision preventing $1.7 billion in frozen assets from returning to the Central Bank of Iran," the statement reads.