Trump takes aim at Iran with sanctions on Hezbollah member Salman
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s administration again took aim at Iran on Friday by imposing new sanctions on a senior member of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah.
The Trump administration also announced a $7 million reward for information leading to the capture of 25-year fugitive Salman Raouf Salman, and described their actions as part of their “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran.
The latest round of sanctions come as tensions in the region are on the rise. Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June, nearly causing Trump to launch a retaliatory strike. Trump said Thursday that the U.S. military had downed an Iranian drone, but Iranian officials disputed that overnight.
“This administration will continue to target Hezbollah terrorists who plot horrific murderous operations and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians on behalf of this violent group and its Iranian patrons,” said Sigal Mandelker, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department.
The administration announced its actions on the 25th anniversary of an attack Salman is accused of ordering on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The attack killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others.
Since then, the U.S. and other nations have accused Salman of plotting other attacks from a base in Lebanon. Officials believe he is still in the Middle East, but do not know exactly where.
The new sanctions are designed to freeze all of Salman’s assets within the United States.
On Thursday, Argentina’s government declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and froze its assets.
Iran has accused the Trump administration of provoking a military confrontation. The U.S. has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in and around the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump and aides said Iran has a 40-year history of provoking the United States.