The U.S. Department of the Treasury today is lifting sanctions against former Prime Minister of Syria Riyad Hijab who recently severed his ties with the Assad regime. This action is being taken because Hijab is no longer a senior official of the Government of Syria. Hijab’s name will be removed from Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons List, and he is no longer subject to an asset freeze.
Since the uprising against the Assad regime began last year, the United States has used a number of different authorities to target and sanction those involved in human rights abuse in Syria, senior Syrian government officials, and the Syrian government itself in an effort to hasten the removal of the Assad regime from power and end the government’s campaign of violence against the Syrian people.
On July 18, 2012, Treasury designated 29 senior officials of the Syrian government, including Prime Minister Riyad Hijab, pursuant to Executive Order 13573 of May 18, 2011 “Blocking Property of Senior Officials of the Government of Syria.” Three weeks later Hijab chose to defect from the Syrian government and denounce its campaign of violence.