US Trying to Maintain Pressure

US Trying to Maintain Pressure US Trying to Maintain Pressure

Washington's demand that Iran cease supporting the Lebanese Hezbollah in return for full access to the benefits of last year's nuclear deal is part of its policy of using constant pressure against the Islamic Republic, a lawmaker said.

Hezbollah has been labeled a "terrorist group" by the United States since 1995 over allegations of terror attacks, including the bombing of the US Embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

In December, the US Congress voted to impose sanctions on banks that deal with Hezbollah.

Mohammad Javad Jamali, a member of parliament, said the US is using allegations of terrorism support to advance their hostile policy against the Islamic Republic.

"Americans are pursuing a strategy to keep the Islamic Republic of Iran under constant pressure," Jamali told ICANA on Wednesday.

"The US is wriggling out of its JCPOA commitments," he said, using the formal title of the pact.   

Lebanon's central bank has instructed the country's banks and financial institutions to comply with the new measure against the Lebanese Shia group.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday his group would not be affected by fresh US sanctions because it receives its money directly from Iran, not via Lebanese banks.

"We do not have any business projects or investments via banks," Nasrallah was quoted as saying by AFP.

"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... No law will prevent us from receiving it," he added.

  Tehran's Struggle

Nasrallah's open acknowledgement of full reliance on Iran's material support came amid Tehran's struggle to access benefits of the nuclear accord with major powers that went into force in January to ease crippling economic sanctions in exchange for temporarily curbing its nuclear program.

Iran has complained that residual US sanctions, imposed over non-nuclear grounds including terrorism allegations, have deterred international businesses from Iran's market, hence limiting its access to much-needed oversees investment to help revive the domestic economy hit by years of sanctions. In relevant remarks, White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Iran's alleged continued support for "terrorism" would keep shutting the country out of the global markets.

"And we've had a conversation recently about Iran's concerns about access to international markets. Well, those financial actors are looking at Iran's behavior. And if Iran is going to continue to fund terrorism and continue to supply resources to Hezbollah, that is going to have impact.  Those financial actors don't want to do business with a country that's doing that."

"So we call on Iran to not only stop doing this because it's not good for national security … but we call on Iran to stop doing it because it's not in their interest either," Schultz said in a press briefing on Monday, according to a transcript of his remarks carried by the White House website.