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Iranian Fuel, Arranged by Hezbollah & Purchased by Shia Businessmen, Heads to Crisis-Hit Lebanon

© REUTERS / REUTERS TVLebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaks through a screen during a religious ceremony marking Ashura, in this screengrab taken from Al-Manar TV footage, Lebanon August 19, 2021.
Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaks through a screen during a religious ceremony marking Ashura, in this screengrab taken from Al-Manar TV footage, Lebanon August 19, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.08.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian fuel shipments to Lebanon, announced by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, have been paid for by Lebanese Shia businessmen, the Fars News Agency reported on Thursday.
Earlier today, Nasrallah said that Tehran had dispatched tankers with fuel to Lebanon. He added that Israel and the US should take into account that these vessels belonged to Lebanon at the time of dispatch.
"We don't want to get into a challenge with anyone, we don't want to get into a problem with anyone. We want to help our people," Nasrallah said. "I say to the Americans and the Israelis that the boat that will sail within hours from Iran is Lebanese territory," Nasrallah said as translated by Al-Masdar News.
According to him, the United States is behind the fuel and energy crisis in Lebanon.
Multiple media outlets have been questioning the source of the money used to buy the fuel. The Hezbollah-sponsored deal may result in dire consequences for Lebanon, as the movement is designated as terrorist by the US and there is a high risk of sanctions against the already-crumbling Lebanese economy.
According to Reuters, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has claimed that Iranian vessels will cause Lebanon to suffer the same fate as Venezuela. The Latin American nation has come under heavy pressure from the US over Iranian oil shipments.
"Hezbollah has made Lebanon a province of Iran. They don't want Lebanon to have a gov. This shipment brings sanctions & penalties for the Lebanese, like Venezuela!", Hariri lamented.
Echoing him, US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, told Arab media on Thursday that while the US is seeking "sustainable solutions" to Lebanon's crisis, Hezbollah's leader is not doing enough to support the Lebanese people.
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"I'm trying to find solutions for the Lebanese people. We've been talking to the governments of Egypt, Jordan, the government here [Lebanon], the World Bank. We're trying to get real, sustainable solutions for Lebanon’s fuel and energy needs," Shea reportedly told Al Arabiya English.
"And if that's all [Nasrallah] can muster to explain the misery that the Lebanese people are living in, then shame on him," she reportedly added.
"God willing, this ship and others will arrive safely," Nasrallah said on Thursday.
Since 2019, Lebanon has been suffering from a severe economic crisis. The national currency has lost over 90% of its value, while the population is facing a shortage of fuel and other essentials.
Due to the shortages, gas filling stations in Lebanon are open only until noon and every car can be gassed with only 25 liters, measures which cause long lines of cars waiting for their turn for hours. Because of the lack of funds to purchase diesel oil for power stations, the operating company had to stop the work of some stations and cut power for people from 2 to 4 hours daily.
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