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On August 22th, 2021, Iran said it is ready to ship more fuel to Lebanon if needed, after the Hezbollah leader said more vessels carrying Iranian fuel would sail soon to help ease the country’s fuel shortage.

Hezbollah’s enemies in Lebanon have warned of dire consequences from the purchase, saying it risked sanctions being imposed on a country whose economy has been in meltdown for nearly two years.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed KHATIBZADEH said at a news conference on August 23th, 2021 that “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”.

Hezbollah leader Hassan NASRALLAH said on Sunday, that the first vessel shipping Iranian fuel to Lebanon, which the group announced on last Thursday was about to leave Iran, had already sailed.

He also dismissed as “illusions” a reported US-backed initiative to ease Lebanon’s energy crisis. He said the first Iranian ship loaded with fuel was “at sea”.

Hezbollah, a close ally of Iran designated as a “terrorist” group by much of the West, is a major political force in Lebanon but its leaders are under US sanctions.

We will continue this process as long as Lebanon needs it” NASRALLAH said. “The aim is to help all Lebanese, not just Hezbollah supporters or the Shia”.

Last week, Iran’s semi-official Nournews website reported the fuel shipments to Lebanon were all bought by a group of Lebanese Shia businessmen.

We announce our readiness to sell fuel to the Lebanese government in addition to the fuel purchased by the Lebanese Shia businessmen if the Lebanese government is willing” said Saeed KHATIBZADEH.

US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, reimposed in 2018 when then-President TRUMP exited Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal, aim to cut its crude sales to zero.

Hezbollah, founded by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in 1982, has also been targeted by US sanctions.

Fuel prices in Lebanon are expected to double after the country’s leaders decided on Saturday to change the exchange rate used to price petroleum products in a bid to ease crippling shortages.

Amounting to a partial reduction in fuel subsidies, the rise will mean more hardship.

The fuel crisis has left Lebanon in chaos, paralysing basic services and sparking daily melees as people scramble for fuel.

The Lebanese pound has lost more than 90 % of its value on the black market, and 78 % of the population lives below the poverty line.

Without the diesel needed to power generators, Lebanese have faced power cuts lasting up to 22 hours a day, with businesses, hospitals and government offices forced shut.


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