Bush blocks assets of those threatening Lebanon


President Bush issued a sweeping order blocking the U.S. assets of groups and persons that undermine Lebanon’s government.

The order Thursday does not specify targets, but it would appear to include Hezbollah, the terrorist group that launched a war against Israel last year, and Syrian agents still operating in Lebanon two years after Syria ended its decades-long occupation.

It cites those who “undermine Lebanon’s legitimate and democratically elected government or democratic institutions” and who “contribute to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Lebanon, including through politically motivated violence and intimidation, to reassert Syrian control or contribute to Syrian interference in Lebanon.”

The order blocks without notice the assets of such persons, their wives, children and of those who help them financially. Such orders extend to holdings in overseas branches of U.S. financial institutions.

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