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Chairman Menendez Statement on Imposition of Sanctions on Lebanese Brothers

Montevideo, Uruguay – U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement after the Biden administration imposed new sanctions on Tuesday on two Lebanese brothers—Raymond Zina Rahme and Teddy Zina Rahme—accused of contributing to the breakdown of the rule of law in Lebanon by selling “dangerously compromised fuel" to Lebanon's state utility company:

“I welcome the recently announced sanctions against Raymond and Teddy Rahme, two unscrupulous businessmen who used their contacts within Lebanon’s political elite, including presidential candidates and Hezbollah allies, to enrich themselves. Their enrichment came at the expense of the Lebanese people, and at the cost of the accountability and transparency that Lebanon’s citizens have demanded time and again. By importing and selling tainted fuel, the Rahme brothers seriously undermined Lebanon’s energy sector and its rule of law in the midst of an economic, energy and political crisis that has driven too many Lebanese into poverty. I urge the Administration to work with our European counterparts to multi-lateralize these sanctions, and to expand our collective designations of other bad actors as well as those who undermine the political process in Lebanon. The Biden administration must be clear that those who insist on sidestepping the demands of Lebanon's people to abide by the rule of law have no place in the country’s political leadership, including as presidential candidates.”