BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group has categorically dismissed allegations that it is involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
Friday’s statements by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah are in response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s announcement last week that the Justice Department is forming a team of prosecutors to investigate such activity linked to the Iranian-backed group.
The move follows reports that Obama administration officials thwarted drug prosecutions related to Hezbollah for fear of jeopardizing a nuclear deal with Iran.
Speaking at a party event, Nasrallah said the allegations were “completely baseless,” adding the group considers such dealings forbidden by Islamic law.
Hezbollah has repeatedly denied accusations that it is involved in drug trafficking. Nasrallah says such claims come in the context of the west’s war against his group.