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BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Hezbollah chief  Hassan Nasrallah on Friday repeated pledges to import Iranian fuel should shortages across the country persist, saying that all logistical steps for that possibility were complete.

“I want to stress that I promised and I’m still promising … if we have to go to Iran to get gasoline and fuel oil we will, even if it causes a problem,” Nasrallah said in HIS  televised speech.

Earlier in June Nasrallah said  Iran could supply fuel to Lebanon in local currency. 

”Everything is ready….all we need is permission to move,” Nasrallah said, adding that this would not be done through the central bank in order to avoid violating U.S. sanctions aimed at choking off Iranian oil exports.

For weeks  the worsening fuel shortages  have forced motorists to queue for hours for very little gasoline.

Earlier on Friday caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab approved a decision to import fuel at a rate of 3900  Lebanese pound to the dollar . The dollar has been trading at 16000  Lebanese  pounds in the black market .


UAS ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea had earlier l Jadeed TV that importing fuel from Iran is not a viable solution to the problem.

“What Iran is looking for is some kind of satellite state that they can exploit to pursue their agenda,” she said.

Lebanon’s long fuel lines have caused squabbles amongst motorists where gunshots were fired in several incidents.

On Friday, Nasrallah warned of civil violence.

“In all honesty, if you shoot at each other at gas stations, that doesn’t solve the crisis,” he said.

“There is a large number of crises in Lebanon but we have the blessing of security and civil peace.”For weeks worsening fuel shortages on the back of Lebanon’s deepening financial crisis have forced motorists to queue for hours for very little gasoline.

Earlier on Friday caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab approved a decision to subsidize fuel import at a rate of 3900  Lebanese pound to the dollar . The dollar has been trading at 16000  Lebanese  pounds in the black market .

“Everything is ready….all we need is permission to move,” Nasrallah said, adding that this would not be done through the central bank in order to avoid violating U.S. sanctions aimed at choking off Iranian oil exports.

Nasrallah warned of civil violence.

“In all honesty, if you shoot at each other at gas stations, that doesn’t solve the crisis,” he said.

“There is a large number of crises in Lebanon but we have the blessing of security and civil peace.”

Iran is preparing to ramp up global oil sales as talks to lift U.S. sanctions show signs of progress.

State-controlled National Iranian Oil Co. has been priming oil fields — and customer relationships — so it can increase exports if an accord is clinched, officials said. 

But there are many hurdles to overcome. Any agreement must fully dismantle the gamut of U.S. barriers on trade, shipping and insurance involving Iranian entities. Even then buyers may still be reluctant, according to Mohammad Ali Khatibi, a former official at NIOC.

“Our return may be a gradual process rather than swift and sudden — it can’t happen overnight,” Khatibi, also Iran’s former OPEC envoy, said in an interview. That’s partly due to the coronavirus pandemic having “significantly hurt demand,” he said.

Other issues

Commenting on the speech of FPM chief Gebran Bassil, Nasrallah said It is normal to seek the help of a friend but he cannot be a referee on the issue of government formation and denied Bassil’s claim that the Sunnis and Shiites were each demanding one third of the seats in the upcoming government and said Bassil’s demand of a blocking one third in the cabinet is not allowed .

Bassil who is President Michel Aoun’s son-in -law is reportedly behind the impasse in government formation because he is reportedly demanding a blocking third of the cabinet for his bloc and Aoun ( one third plus one)

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