US denounces Hezbollah's deliveries of Iranian fuel to Lebanon

State Department spokesman: Hezbollah's deliveries of Iranian fuel to Lebanon are a “public relations stunt”.

Elad Benari ,

Lebanon
Lebanon
iStock

The United States on Thursday denounced Hezbollah's deliveries of Iranian fuel to Lebanon as a “public relations stunt” and warned that Tehran remained under sanctions, AFP reports.

"Fuel from a country subject to extensive sanctions like Iran is not very clearly a sustainable solution to Lebanon's energy crisis," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

"We support efforts to find transparent and sustainable energy solutions that will address Lebanon's acute energy and fuel shortages,” he added.

"This is, in our minds, Hezbollah playing a public relations game, not engaged in constructive problem-solving," continued Price.

Dozens of trucks carrying Iranian diesel recently 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.

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

In his remarks on Thursday, Price stopped short of saying that Lebanon would be subject to US sanctions and noted that President Joe Biden is willing to lift measures against Iran if it returns to full compliance with the 2015 deal.



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