Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a press conference following talks with his German counterpart at the foreign ministry in Berlin May 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – The head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, said that he is ready to leave political life if he is found guilty of any corruption charges, against the backdrop of the U.S. sanctions imposed on him for alleged corruption.

Bassil posted on Twitter yesterday: “I hope to go with the subject of the accusations to the other and reveal everything, and I will leave the political life if I am found guilty of any corruption charge, and a large country like America that holds every money transfer in the world is it not able to reveal everything? I am the first to disclose my accounts to the Lebanese public opinion.”

“History has taught us that isolating any sect leads to an explosion and here we are talking about an entire component, not just Hezbollah,” he continued.

“The blockade has succeeded economically and financially, so the situation has become bad, but we have not reached discord and explosion, and I am with the concept of the state and the document of understanding with Hezbollah, which only talks about this matter and is a defensive strategic phrase, the first thing that is mentioned in it.”

On November 6, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Bassil under the Magnitsky Act for “his role in corruption in Lebanon.”

A statement issued by the Treasury Department quoted Minister Stephen Mnuchin: “Systematic corruption in the Lebanese political system represented by Bassil has helped erode the foundations of an effective government that serves the Lebanese people,” noting that the imposition of sanctions on Bassil “clarifies that the United States supports the Lebanese people in their continuous calls for reform and accountability.”

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