BEIRUT (Press TV) – The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has denounced the United States over blocking efforts to establish a new government in the Arab country, which is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades.
Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc said in a statement on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration "is the one responsible for obstructing the efforts to form the government.”
The Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, however, said it still saw the chance to agree on a cabinet, saying, it "still sees the opportunity available to renew that, which was wrecked by those who [are] handling, in the shadows, the operation of forming the new government.”
The United States on September 8 imposed sanctions on two former cabinet ministers in Lebanon over support for Hezbollah as it vowed to isolate the resistance movement amid the country’s political turmoil.
The Treasury Department targeted former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil and former transport minister Youssef Fenianos, freezing any assets they hold in the United States. The sanctions also make any financial transactions with them liable to criminal penalties.
"We categorically refuse that anyone on our behalf names ministers that represent us in the government,” Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc pointed out.
The U.S. has, in its latest move, also announced a new set of sanctions on two companies and one individual over alleged links to Hezbollah, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
The new sanctions target the companies Arch Consulting and Meamar Construction "for being owned, controlled, or directed by Hezbollah”, AP quoted the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as saying.
The U.S. agency also sanctioned Sultan Khalifah Asaad, who is said to be a senior Hezbollah Executive Council official, over his alleged association with both companies.
Efforts to form a new government in Lebanon have hit an impasse with Parliament Speaker and Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri insisting that the Finance Ministry, along with Defense, Interior and Foreign ministries, must be excluded from the proposed shake-up of the leadership.
While Berri insists on assigning the position of finance minister to a Shia candidate, Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib is in favor of switching control of the ministries.
Political pundits say many of the ministries have been held by same factions for years.
Adib has been seeking to appoint ministers so they can begin work on a French road map.
But major Shia Muslim and Christian players in the sectarian power-sharing system have complained that the prime minister-designate has not been consulting them.