Hezbollah brushes off Pindo sanctions, says money comes via Iran
AFP, Jun 24 2016
BEIRUT – Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Friday said his group would not be affected by fresh Pindo sanctions because it receives its money directly from Iran, not via Lebanese banks. In December, the Pindo Congress voted to impose sanctions on banks that deal with Hezbollah. Last month, Lebanon’s central bank instructed the country’s banks and financial institutions to comply with the new measure. In a speech broadcast by al-Manar, Nasrallah said:
We do not have any business projects or investments via banks. We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran. As long as Iran has money, we have money. Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it.
The Hezbollah chief also warned that some banks were applying the law too harshly and shutting down the accounts of Lebanese charities. Hezbollah has fiercely criticised the law and accused central bank governor Riad Salameh of “yielding” to Washington’s demands. Earlier this month, a bomb exploded outside the Beirut headquarters of Blom Bank, one of the country’s largest, wounding one person. Several Lebanese newspapers known to be critical of Hezbollah said at the time the explosion was a “message” to banks complying with the Pindo ruling.