Moroccan authorities arrested and extradited the top Lebanese financier of Hezbollah to the US in 2017.
Rabat – A US court sentenced top Hezbollah supporter Kassim Tajideen to five years in prison and ordered that he pay a fine of $50 million.
Morocco’s security services arrested Tajideen in March 2017. The US Treasury listed Tajideen as “specially designated global terrorist” in 2009 for alleged financing of Hezbollah.
The US has been targeting Hezbollah, as well as other terror groups deemed a threat to the region’s security.
Tajideen’s arrest in Morocco flared tension with Iran, with whom Morocco cut ties in May 2018.
Morocco accused Iranian ally Hezbollah of delivering military equipment to members of the Polisario Front in the Tindouf camps, Algeria.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said in May that tension between Morocco and Iran flared after Morocco arrested and extradited Tajideen to the US.
Bourita also said that Iran “demanded that Morocco release him. We gave him to the United States and from that day there was a change.”
In September 2018, the Moroccan official added that Tajideen was important to Iran because he was “linking” Iran and its proxy with sub-Saharan countries, especially “West Africa.”
“This Mr.Tajideen who was captured in Morocco was laundering money in Africa. All the benefits to Iran from Hezbollah are being reinvested in Africa,” Bourita said in an interview with US news outlet Breitbart News in September.