US official threatens to impose sanctions on Lebanese companies, individuals for

A senior US official said he hoped that Washington would not have to take a position that would impose sanctions on Lebanese companies and individuals for violating the "Caesar Law" against the Syrian regime.

Joel Rayburn, the US special envoy to Syria, said he was aware of news reports alleging that fuel and other goods imported to Lebanon were being smuggled into Syria via trucks crossing the border.

During the online seminar with the US-based Global Policy Center, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Levant Affairs added that some reports refer to "legitimate humanitarian assistance passing through the United Nations system", however, Rayburn added that there is a large amount of fuel being smuggled into Syria from Lebanon.

Rayburn stressed that the United States does not aim to impose sanctions on its friends or partners under the Caesar law, adding that Washington wants to work with countries in the region so that "they do not do things inconsistent with the activities subject to the sanctions."

The US diplomat said that the United States hopes that you will not have to punish Lebanese companies and individuals under Caesar law because Washington wants to focus on the Assad regime.

Rayburn also talked about Lebanon purchasing electricity from Syria, warning that "electricity from the Assad regime will not save the Lebanese electricity sector," and he said: "There must be a reconsideration of the Lebanese electricity sector, instead of looking for temporary reforms that will create more problems."

Of note, Lebanon used to buy electricity from Syria in the past years, according to an agreement reached between the two countries in 1995.

On June 17, the United States began implementing the "Caesar Law", which punishes 39 people and companies, among the sanctioned targets are two front companies registered in Beirut, Lebanon.


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