...

Feted with petals, Hezbollah brings Iranian fuel into Lebanon




  • In US
  • 2021-09-16 06:36:36Z
  • By Reuters

By Issam Abdallah

AL-AIN, Lebanon (Reuters) -Hezbollah began bringing Iranian fuel into Lebanon via Syria on Thursday, a move the Shi'ite Muslim group says should ease a crippling energy crisis but which opponents say risks provoking U.S. sanctions.

A convoy of trucks carrying Iranian fuel oil entered northeastern Lebanon near the village of al-Ain, where Hezbollah's yellow flag fluttered from lampposts.

"Thank you Iran. Thank you Assad's Syria," declared a banner, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hezbollah's al-Manar TV said a convoy of around 20 trucks had crossed into Lebanon.

The trucks sounded their horns as they passed through al-Ain as people watched on. Some waved Hezbollah's flag, while a woman and boy threw petals at one vehicle.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah has said the ship carrying the fuel docked in Syria on Sunday https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/lebanons-hezbollah-say-first-iranian-fuel-oil-arrive-thursday-2021-09-13 after being told going to Lebanon could risk sanctions.

Washington has reiterated that U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil sales remain in place. But it has not said whether it is considering taking any action over the move by Hezbollah, which it designates a terrorist group.

The Lebanese government has said its permission was not sought https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/lebanons-energy-minister-says-he-hasnt-had-request-import-iranian-fuel-2021-09-01 to import the fuel.

The move marks an expansion of Hezbollah's role in Lebanon, where critics have long accused the heavily armed group of acting as a state within the state.

Founded by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in 1982, Hezbollah has long been part of Lebanon's governing system, with ministers and members of parliament.

It has fought numerous wars with Israel, and its fighters have helped Assad in the Syrian war.

BREAKING 'THE AMERICAN SIEGE'

The energy crisis is a result of a financial meltdown since 2019, sinking the currency by some 90% and sending more than three quarters of the population into poverty.

Fuel supplies have dried up because Lebanon does not have enough hard currency to cover even vital imports, forcing essential services including some hospitals to scale back or shut down and sparking numerous security incidents.

Hezbollah declared it had broken an "American siege".

Lebanon's financial system unravelled https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/lebanons-financial-meltdown-how-it-happened-2021-06-17 as a result of decades of profligate spending by a state riddled with corruption and waste, and the unsustainable way it was financed.

The French ambassador rebuked the former prime minister in July for saying Lebanon was under siege, saying the crisis was the result of years of mismanagement and inaction by Lebanon.

Western governments and donor institutions have said they will unlock aid once Lebanon enacts reforms.

The United States, a big supplier of humanitarian and military aid to Lebanon, is backing a plan to ease the energy crisis using Egyptian natural gas https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/egypt-says-it-hopes-export-gas-supply-lebanon-with-power-soon-2021-09-08 piped via Jordan and Syria. The U.S. ambassador has said Lebanon does not need Iranian fuel.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has said a second ship with fuel oil will arrive in the Syrian port of Baniyas in a few days, with a third and fourth, respectively carrying gasoline and fuel oil, also due.

A new government aims to resume talks with the IMF https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/exclusive-lebanon-draft-policy-statement-says-government-committed-imf-talks-2021-09-15 to tackle the crisis.

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Toby Chopra and Andrew Cawthorne)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Beirut port investigator renews summonses of ex-ministers
Beirut port investigator renews summonses of ex-ministers
  • World
  • 2021-10-19 18:17:46Z

The judge leading Lebanon's probe into last year's massive port explosion renewed on Tuesday his summonses of two former ministers for questioning, a...

Hezbollah brag of 100,000-strong force aimed at foes at home
Hezbollah brag of 100,000-strong force aimed at foes at home
  • World
  • 2021-10-19 17:33:10Z

A boast by the leader of Hezbollah that he commands 100,000 fighters came as a surprise to many Lebanese, not least because it was addressed to a domestic...

Lebanon Hezbollah chief says movement has 100,000 fighters
Lebanon Hezbollah chief says movement has 100,000 fighters
  • World
  • 2021-10-18 20:27:30Z

The head of Lebanon's Hezbollah said Monday that his Iran-backed movement has 100,000 "trained" and "armed" fighters at its disposal, speaking after deadly...

Energy-stricken S.Africa weighs need to save climate and keep lights on
Energy-stricken S.Africa weighs need to save climate and keep lights on

When you fly into Johannesburg, solar panels seem to gleam everywhere, from the roofs of mansions and small township homes alike.

China growth slides to 4.9% in third quarter
China growth slides to 4.9% in third quarter

China's economic growth tumbled more than expected in the third quarter, official data showed Monday, as the property sector struggled with tighter policy...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US