08/23/2021, 09.45
LEBANON - IRAN
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Hezbollah ships oil from Iran to tackle fuel crisis

Nasrallah announces the departure "within a few days" of a second boat loaded with crude oil. The pro-Tehran Shiite movement on the ground to "alleviate" the suffering of the population. Openings to the Ayatollahs risk exacerbating regional tensions. Green light also for aid from Egypt and Jordan, but it will take "months to materialize".

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A second ship loaded with fuel which has set sail from Iran will arrive "within a few days" in the ports of Lebanon, announced Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah yesterday.

Her was speaking during a televised address to commemorate Abbas al-Yatama, military commander of the pro-Tehran Lebanese Shiite movement who died last week.

“Our first ship has become at sea, our second ship will sail within days and more ships will follow,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech commemorating Abbas al-Yatama, a Hezbollah military commander who died a week ago.

“We are seeking to alleviate the suffering and what we will bring will be for all Lebanese and all those living on Lebanese soil. It will not be for one Lebanese region without the other,” Nasrallah noted.

“We are not an alternative to the state in this matter or in any other matter. We cannot be so and we are not an alternative to the companies that import oil,” Hezbollah’s leader pointed out.

The announcement of the head of Hezbollah comes at a time of very serious difficulties for the Land of the Cedars, at political, economic and health level. A crisis that has also affected the fuel sector and that has triggered a recent protest against the end of oil subsidies and is at the origin of the accident in Tleil, where a powerful explosion in a clandestine fuel depot has killed several people.

In his remarks, Nasrallah then added that " “We are not supposed to bring Lebanon's full demand of gasoline and diesel but rather good quantities that alleviate pressure off the companies and the stations.” Commenting on the U.S. opening on gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan, he then stressed that any further additions to stocks " important."

Regarding the U.S. administration, he hopes for a change of course and that "it stops preventing other countries [read Iran] from helping Lebanon" also because aid from Cairo and Amman "will take months to materialize."

Finally, Hezbollah's leader concluded by commenting on the issue of offshore oil and gas exploration by issuing a challenge. "If (foreign) companies fear Israel and sanctions, we are willing to bring an Iranian company to extract gas and oil in the seas. And let Israel bomb it, too."

Nasrallah's position - harshly criticized even by the Maronite patriarch - on Iran risks exacerbating even more the internal tensions that have been blocking the formation of the government for a year, with repercussions on the entire region.

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