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World News

Hezbollah: U.S. sanctions on Lebanon's Bassil are blatant interference

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hezbollah condemned U.S. sanctions imposed on Friday on Gebran Bassil, head of Lebanon’s biggest Christian political bloc and son-in-law of the country’s president, as an attempt to force Washington’s dictates on Lebanon.

The United States imposed the sanctions on Bassil, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), over accusations of corruption and ties to the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Hezbollah group.

Hezbollah said in a statement that it considered the move a “purely political decision and a blatant and gross interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs”.

“This decision specifically aims to force a big Lebanese political team to submit to American conditions and dictates on Lebanon,” it said.

Washington considers Hezbollah a terrorist group and has imposed sanctions on several officials linked to the armed movement.

The FPM has a political alliance with Hezbollah and Bassil has defended the group as vital to the defence of Lebanon.

Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrew Heavens

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