صحافة لبنان : U.S. Weighs Sanctions Against Lebanon Central Bank Chief

U.S. Weighs Sanctions Against Lebanon Central Bank Chief

من صحافة لبنان تفاصيل المقالة التالية U.S. Weighs Sanctions Against Lebanon Central Bank Chief والان إلى تفاصيل الخبر

The U.S. is considering sanctions against Lebanon’s long-serving central bank chief as a broader investigation into the alleged embezzlement of public funds in the country gathers pace, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Officials within the Biden administration have discussed the possibility of coordinated measures with their European counterparts targeting Riad Salameh, who’s led the Middle Eastern nation’s monetary authority for 28 years, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private.

The discussion has so far focused on the possibility of freezing Salameh’s overseas assets and enacting measures that would curtail his ability to do business abroad, the people said. Deliberations are ongoing and a final decision over whether to take action may not be imminent, they said. Salameh denies any wrongdoing.

U.S. authorities have considered penalizing Salameh before. The possibility emerged as recently as last year, but then-President Donald Trump wasn’t interested in taking action, two of the people said. His administration focused much of its Middle East policy on countering the influence of Iran and its proxies like Lebanon-based Hezbollah, whereas President Joe Biden has initially emphasized accountability on corruption and human rights abuses.

Should any measures be imposed, it would be a rare instance in which a foreign government has taken action against the sitting head of a central bank over alleged corruption. It would also amount to a remarkable reversal of fortune for one of the world’s longest-tenured monetary policy chiefs and further complicate Lebanon’s efforts to win international financial support.

Salameh, 70, was once celebrated as the financier who stabilized Lebanon’s currency against all odds and was even considered at one time to be a presidential contender. As recently as 2019, he earned an A-grade from the New York-based magazine Global Finance in it

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