In a timely manner, a video of Lebanese President Michel Aoun saying he will resign if any member from his family was involved in corruption is making rounds on social media platforms.
In the video, he challenges the world to find one spec of corruption his family was involved in. “I will resign from the presidency if anyone can find [prove it],” he promised.
“I declare this in front of the entire Lebanese nation; in front of the Americans, the French, the British, in front of whoever…!”
While Aoun earnestly believes his family members are incapable of corruption, a recent decision by the United States just seems to prove otherwise.
On Friday, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader, former minister, who happens to also be Lebanese President’s son-in-law, Gebran Bassil, for his “role in corruption.”
“Throughout his government career, Bassil has become notorious for corruption and has been linked to the purchase of influence within Lebanese political circles,” said U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
So the question is now, will Aoun really resign?
It is unlikely. For now, Aoun has requested proof from the U.S. that Bassil is involved in corruption. He wants the evidence and documents that pushed the U.S. to impose sanctions.
Asked if Bassil can challenge the sanctions, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker said that he was welcomed to do so, but that it would be “very difficult to do because the case is so solid.”
“These designations take months to prepare, are reviewed by the interagency, by lawyers, and are based on facts,” he stated. Facts that the Lebanese President now wants to see for himself.