A U.S.-led Western Hemisphere ministerial on counterterrorism this week discussed Hezbollah’s activities in Latin America, with some analysts suggesting member countries are stepping up efforts to prevent the Lebanese militant group from funneling funds from the region to make up for the money lost from close ally Iran because of U.S. sanctions.
The ministerial conference, which took place Tuesday in Washington, was hosted by U.S. officials and attended by senior officials of 13 U.S. partners across the Americas. The countries discussed the threats transnational terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, pose to the security of the Western Hemisphere.
Nathan Sales, the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, in a press briefing Wednesday said recent U.S. sanctions had cut into Iran’s disposable income, which previously gave Hezbollah an estimated $700 million a year. He said the group would most likely try to compensate for the lost revenue by stepping up its fundraising networks across the Middle East, Africa and South America.