The United States is mulling the possibility of imposing sanctions on the inner circle of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri against the backdrop of his ties with Hezbollah and Iran, a report revealed on Saturday.
The measures could target officials in Berri's political party as well as its financial backers, The National newspaper quoted knowledgeable sources as saying.
In a bid to avoid American censure and minimize the scope of any sanctions, Berri is dispatching MP Yassine Jaber and his media adviser, Ali Hamdan, to Washington to meet with U.S. officials, the report noted.
“The truth is that Hezbollah and Amal are one,” a senior White House official told The National, adding that Berri's party and high-level associates were under scrutiny.
“This must stop. Nabih Berri continues to be Iran's man in Lebanon. He is Hezbollah's main line of political support. U.S. economic targeting and sanctions will increase until Berri goes – or changes, which is unlikely. As long as Berri remains in power the country will suffer," the source said.
Another source with knowledge of the discussions taking place in Washington said the Trump administration “would not be fooled by diplomatic posturing or deception” from Berri.