Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Friday that Iranian fuel shipments imported by the Hezbollah organization constitute a breach of Lebanon's sovereignty, according to Reuters.
"The violation of Lebanon's sovereignty makes me sad," Mikati was quoted as having told CNN in an interview.
He added, "But I'm not concerned that sanctions can be imposed" on Lebanon "because the operation was carried out without the involvement of the Lebanese government."
Mikati’s comments came a day after 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.”
A new Lebanese government headed by Mikati was formed just last week after a 13-month impasse as the country grapples with one of the worst crises in its history.
Mikati took on the task of forming a new government in late July, days after fellow veteran politician Saad Hariri threw in the towel.
Hariri gave up the post when he failed to reach an agreement with Aoun on a Cabinet.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)