Continuing arms flow to Hezbollah 'threat to US' - Obama
US President Barack Obama speaks at the Jacksonville Port July 25, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida (AFP)
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United States President Barack Obama said Monday weapons transfers to Hezbollah constituted an “unusual and extraordinary” threat to his country’s national security.
In a letter addressed to the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate, Obama extended for one additional year a 2007 decision to freeze the assets of individuals whose activities undermine stability in Lebanon.
“Certain ongoing activities, such as continuing arms transfers to Hezbollah that include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems, serve to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, contribute to political and economic instability in Lebanon, and continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said in the letter.
“For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Lebanon,” he added.
Obama’s extension of the U.S. decision, first issued on Aug. 1, 2007, is a routine procedure, carried out every year since then.
The decision which was issued under George W. Bush’s administration took measures against a list of individuals the U.S. said undermine Lebanon’s legitimate and democratically elected government, contribute to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Lebanon and work to reassert Syrian control or contribute to Syrian interference in Lebanon, among other things.