Increased United States sanctions of the Iran proxy of Hezbollah does not worry the group at all. The leader of the Lebanon Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the Trump administration’s sanctions cannot harm it.

Nasrallah spoke on television to mark the anniversary of the end of the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel said, “The American administration, with all available and possible means, will not be able to damage the strength of the resistance.”

Nasrallah said Lebanon was being subjected to intimidation and threats over Hezbollah – which is part of the Beirut government but classified as a terrorist group by Washington – and alleged that Lebanese officials had been told that Israel could launch a war.

European and American officials had warned them “during diplomatic meetings and international visits … if you don’t do this, Israel will launch a war on Lebanon, and if Hezbollah doesn’t do this, Israel will launch a war on Lebanon”, Nasrallah said. He did not spell out what had been asked of Lebanon or Hezbollah.

Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, a well armed Shi’ite movement, have risen this year. Nasrallah has played down the prospect of a war while simultaneously warning Israel against a conflict.

Last month the United States Congress introduced legislation to increase sanctions on Hezbollah, who President Trump called “a menace”, by putting pressure on banks doing business with it, and restricting the ability to raise money and recruit.

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Lebanese officials have worried that these sanctions will hurt their banking industry.

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