Iran willing to sell fuel to Lebanon’s government

Announcement follows delivery of Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah which was condemned by the Lebanese government.

Elad Benari ,

Lebanon
Lebanon
iStock

Iran said on Sunday it is willing to sell fuel to Lebanon’s government to help ease shortages, after a first delivery of Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah entered the country.

“If the Lebanese government wants to buy fuel from us to resolve the problems faced by its population, we will supply it,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to the AFP news agency.

He told a news conference that the Islamic Republic had already sold fuel to a “Lebanese businessman”, without naming Hezbollah.

Last Thursday, dozens of trucks carrying Iranian diesel arrived in Lebanon, the first in a series of deliveries organized by Hezbollah.

The overland delivery through neighboring Syria violates US sanctions imposed on Tehran after former President Donald Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The shipment is being portrayed as a victory by Hezbollah, which stepped in to supply the fuel from its patron, Iran, while the cash-strapped Lebanese government grapples with months-long fuel shortages that have paralyzed the country.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last month announced that a fuel tanker would leave Iran for Lebanon in a direct challenge to Israel and the US.

“The vessel, from the moment it sails in the coming hours until it enters [Mediterranean] waters, will be considered Lebanese territory,” Nasrallah said in a televised address. “To the Americans and Israelis, I say: it’s Lebanese territory.”

On Friday, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati criticized the Iranian fuel shipments imported by Hezbollah, saying they constitute a breach of Lebanon's sovereignty.



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