The United States and Saudi Arabia issued a first-of-its-kind joint terrorism designation on Friday, targeting the allies' foremost adversary in the region.
"[The designation] is the latest example of the strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia in combating the financing of terrorism," the State Department announcement said.
The move freezes the assets of Hashem Safieddine, a leader of the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. The announcement was made on the cusp of President Trump's first overseas trip since taking office, a nine-day itinerary that will begin in Saudi Arabia and continue through Israel and Europe. It's symbolic of a broader effort to arrange an "Arab NATO" to counteract Iran, backed by American arms deals to the Saudis.
"The Safieddine designation is also consistent with the U.S. government's ongoing effort to expose and apply pressure against the actions of Hezballah, which is supported by the foremost State Sponsor of Terrorism, Iran," the State Department emphasized. "Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system."
The State Department also gave the leader of an ISIS-affiliate in the Sinai peninsula a terrorist label.
"Muhammad al-Isawi, more commonly known as Abu Usama al-Masri, has been ISIS' affiliate in the Sinai's leader since the death of Abu Du'a al-Ansari in August 2016," the notice said. "Today's actions notify the U.S. public and the international community that Safieddine and al-Isawi pose a serious risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States."