New sanctions against Syrian oil firm, Hezbollah

The Obama administration announced largely redundant sanctions Aug. 10 against Hezbollah and a Syrian oil company that deals with Iran, citing the involvement of the terrorist group and Iran in the Syrian carnage.

The U.S. Treasury’s designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group was symbolic; the State Department has for years designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group, banning Americans from any dealings with it or its officials.

A State Department statement designated Styrol, a Syrian state-run oil company, for sanctions for doing business with Iran’s energy sector.

This action also is more or less symbolic, as there already are U.S. sanctions on Syria’s own energy sector.

The statement made it clear that Iran’s role in the Assad regime’s repression of opposition forces in Syria, where the conflict has so far cost 17,000 lives, helped drive the new sanctions. — jta