Naharnet

U.S. Reportedly Warned Lebanon on Iran Sanctions, Hariri Denies

The Obama administration has reportedly informed Premier Saad Hariri that it "will not tolerate any transfer of Scud missiles to Hizbullah" and advised Lebanon not to vote against U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran.

As Safir daily said Monday Defense Secretary Robert Gates informed Hariri during his visit to Washington that President Barack Obama's priority was Iran and Lebanon's voting at the Security Council which would impact U.S. military assistance to the country.

However, Hariri's press office denied the report, saying the information is inaccurate and baseless.

According to As Safir, a high-level U.S. source said Hariri told officials in Washington that he was "in a difficult political situation," adding that voting in favor of new sanctions against Iran was a "political suicide that would impact his premiership."

Asked by As Safir what stance the U.S. would take if Lebanon voted against the sanctions, the official said Washington would submit the draft law to the Security Council on June 11, adding "we have sent the message but it would be satisfactory to us if (Lebanon) abstains" from voting.

However, he advised Lebanon not to vote against the new sanctions over Iran's controversial nuclear program, As Safir said.

As Safir also asserted that during his meeting with Secretary of Transport Ray LaHood, Hariri called on him to invest in infrastructure projects in Lebanon that are exclusively executed by companies belonging to his family.

"This information is fabricated, and has no foundations," the press office said.


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