Saudi Arabia Blacklists Companies, Individuals over Hizbullah Ties

Saudi Arabia upped its pressure on Lebanon and Hizbullah on Friday by blacklisting several companies and individuals over their alleged ties with the Shiite party.

The Saudi authorities designated four companies and three individuals as “terrorists.”

The Interior Ministry identified the firms as Vatech SARL, Le-Hua Electronic Field Co. Limited, Aero Skyone Co. Limited and Labico SAL Offshore.

It said in a statement that the three men are Fadi Hussein Sarhan, Adel Mohammed Sherri and Ali Hussein Zoaiter.

All of them were blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury in November last year.

“Hizbullah spreads chaos and instability, launches terrorist attacks and practices criminal activities across the world,” said the ministry.

The new move came a week after Riyadh announced a halt to $4 billion in aid grants due to what it described as stances taken by Lebanese officials which “were not in harmony with the ties between the two countries.”

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia called on its citizens not to travel to Lebanon for safety reasons and ordered those staying there to leave. Its Gulf allies Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar predictably followed suit, issuing similar warnings. The United Arab Emirates also banned its citizens from traveling to Lebanon and withdrew a number of diplomats from the country.

There have also been reports that Riyadh is carrying out consultations to call for a meeting of Arab foreign ministers to put more pressure on Hizbullah.

The reports said Saudi Arabia is trying to receive the backing of the Arab states on a draft resolution aimed at condemning Hizbullah’s role in Syria and Yemen.

Hizbullah has sent its members to Syria to fight alongside troops loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebels seeking to topple him.

Yemen’s embattled government also accuses the party of sending fighters to support Iran-backed Huthi rebels controlling parts of the war-ravaged country, including the capital.