Us Attorney General John Sessions has ordered the Justice Department to investigate whether the Obama administration thwarted drug prosecutions related to Hezbollah for fear of jeopardising a nuclear deal with Iran.
The project was initially started in 2008 by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the help of 30 other US and foreign agencies, and reportedly discovered a $1 billion per year operation that included weapons, drug trafficking and money laundering used to fund Hezbollah, according to Politico last month.
The Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team will investigate individuals and networks that support Hezbollah, including cases stemming from Project Cassandra, an effort launched in 2008 by the Drug Enforcement Administration to undercut the militant group's funding from illicit drug sources, the Justice Department said in a release.
Sessions is creating a task force to look into how an investigation by the drug enforcement agency was shut down by the president, because the drug traffickers were connected to the Lebanese terrorist group.
"The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis", Sessions said.
Sessions added that his team would initiate prosecutions to restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations, as well as disrupt violent worldwide drug trafficking operations.
In a move that bolsters the Trump administration's war on terror and increased focus on Iran, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new task force Thursday focused on combating Hezbollah.
The US announcement to resume its crackdown against Hezbollah signals that the Trump administration could be prepared to break away from the Iran nuclear deal, which gives Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
Hezbollah, which is considered a terror organization by the USA, receives strong military, financial and strategic support from Iran. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.
Trump has repeatedly pledged to walk away from the deal, having repeatedly accused his predecessor Barack Obama of giving away too much to secure the agreement with Iran.