| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

European sanctions on Lebanese officials won’t be delayed

Diplomatic sources told “Sawt Beirut International” that France is using European sanctions as an additional pressure to increase the joint French-American pressure on the officials in Lebanon to make them form an effective rescue government. The two French delegates present in Beirut, the Minister of Europe for Foreign Affairs, Frank Riester, and the presidential envoy, Patrick Durel, spoke frankly to the officials they met about the issue of formation, and informed them that the sanctions won’t be delayed if the government isn’t formed.

However, according to the sources, the Lebanese officials seem to be stalling, underestimating the impact of the sanctions that will be implemented at the end of this July, claiming that there is not yet a clear basis for a final agreement among the Europeans regarding the sanctions law. Even if the system is finally achieved, the obstructionists will continue their game, taking the country to further collapse because there is still no Iranian decision to facilitate the formation of a government in Lebanon. Simultaneously, many indicators have emerged during the past few days of a rapprochement among internal parties with the Arab orientation, trying to restore balance to the Lebanese scene. This balance is relied upon in order to establish normal relations with Lebanon’s Arab surroundings, in order for Lebanon to regain the Arab interest that has always protected it from major dangers.

The sources expect that, in light of the lack of government formation and the precarious living situation, Arab initiatives will take place to help within certain limits of the people. However, actual Arab assistance will not take place without a major strategic change.

The sources draw attention to what is happening at the International-Iranian level and the Iranian procrastination in negotiations, as US President Joe Biden wants Iran to sit at the table to solve regional problems and not just return to the nuclear agreement. And with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Biden wants a credible solution, and any Iranian and Syrian intransigence will lead to the continuation of the situation in the countries concerned with solutions in the region, and it is the people who will pay the price, and there are International-Iranian rams whose repercussions are shown in Lebanon through the government formation file.

The atmosphere prevailing in the White House circles, according to the sources, is that the nuclear agreement with Iran will be eventually signed, and that the Iranian procrastination in setting a date for the expected seventh round of negotiations, may be caused by waiting for the new president, Ibrahim Raisi, to take over power next August.

Although Iran has informed more than one international party that it is considering reconsidering the negotiating delegation. While Washington did not positively receive these words, especially since the American and Iranian delegations have become personally acquainted. So far, there is no quick sign of hope for a signature, as Iran is in the process of cutting time and does not respond to any international party.

It seems that it wants negotiations on its own terms, with the aim of gaining more time to advance further in the manufacture of weapons in its possession. Also, Iran does not respond to any party regarding the files of Lebanon and the region.

Hence, whoever is betting on the US-Iranian agreement will not succeed, because things are murky, and nothing is clear about the results of the negotiations and the date for the results to appear so far. The American-French pressures exerted to form a government aim to wrest control of Lebanon from “Hezbollah” and Iran, and put Lebanon on the rescue path.

  • Sawt Beirut International