Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday slammed the announcement of an Iranian fuel ship sailing to Lebanon, saying it will pose more risks and cause isolation of Lebanon by the international community.
“Is what we heard this morning [from Hezbollah’s head Hassan Nasrallah] on the arrival of Iranian ships is a good news to the Lebanese people or a dangerous announcement where Lebanon will be involved in internal and external conflicts,” Hariri said on Twitter.
Hariri said the ship was sent without Hezbollah’s coordination with the Lebanese government
He also said the fuel crisis in Lebanon is due to the smuggling of fuel from Lebanon to the Syrian regime.
“The [Hezbollah] party also knows that the Iranian support ships will pose additional risks and penalties to the Lebanese, similar to the sanctions to which Venezuela and other countries are subject,” Hariri said.
He also accused Iran of hindering the formation of the Lebanese government.
Hezbollah has yet to comment on Hariri’s comments, but earlier Nasrallah said Iran never hindered the formation of the Lebanese government.
The US administration imposes sanctions on individuals and entities that deal with the Iranian regime. In 2018, it re-imposed sanctions on Tehran after the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran. Since then, Iran’s fuel production declined from 3.5 million barrels per day to less than half a million barrels per day.
On Aug. 11, Lebanon’s central bank said it would lift the subsidy and offer credit lines for fuel imports based on the market price for the Lebanese pound where it reached more than 20,000 pounds against the US dollar after the fuel was imported at the rate of 3,900 pounds against the dollar.
Lebanon is facing a severe economic crisis, with the local currency losing nearly all of its value against the dollar, and streets witnessing massive protests and rallies.
The Arab country has been unable to form a new administration since the resignation of Hassan Diab’s Cabinet on Aug. 10, 2020, six days after the massive Beirut port blast.