WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed legislation Thursday imposing new sanctions against Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terrorist group behind the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings.
Speaking at a White House event marking the 35th anniversary of the attack that killed 241 Marines, Trump said, “No terrorist group other than al-Qaeda has more American blood on its hands.”
The bill expands the list of those who can be sanctioned for doing business with Hezbollah.
Trump described the sanctions as “starving” Hezbollah.
“We will target, disrupt, and dismantle their operational and financing networks — of which they had plenty; they don’t have plenty now,” he said without elaborating.
Trump also said that Iran had retreated from efforts to gain access to the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli officials have warned repeatedly in recent years of an Iranian attempt to create a conduit to the sea through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
“They’re not looking so much for the Mediterranean. When I took office, they were looking for the Mediterranean. They were going to take over everything. Now they want to survive,” he said.
He said sanctions against Iran set to kick in early next month as part of his pullout of the 2015 nuclear deal would be “just as good” as those that had been removed under predecessor Barack Obama, and promised more in the future.
“We will not allow the world’s leading sponsor of terror to develop the world’s deadliest weapons. Will not happen,” he said.