Iran has officially announced that it is likely to ship more fuel to Lebanon if required, a day after the leader of Lebanon’s Iran-aligned Hezbollah faction said more vessels carrying Iranian fuel would sail to the country soon to help alleviate the country’s energy crisis.
Hezbollah’s adversaries in Lebanon have advised of dire consequences from the purchase, saying it risked sanctions being obligatory on a country whose economy has been in breakdown for nearly two years.
Lebanon has been fighting a political and socio-economic crisis characterized by the lack of a government, in addition to the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the massive explosion in the port of Beirut.
“We sell our oil and its products based on our own decisions and the needs of our friend. Iran is ready to send fuel again to Lebanon if needed,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a news conference on Monday. “Certainly, we cannot see the suffering of the Lebanese people,” he added.
On Sunday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the first vessel shipping Iranian fuel to Lebanon, which was about to leave Iran according to a statement by the group last Thursday, had already sailed.
Nasrallah also dismissed a reported United States-backed initiative to ease Lebanon’s energy crisis as “illusions”.