Scene of a fuel tank explosion in Tleil village, north Lebanon, August 15, 2021. Lebanon is beset by an economic crisis and severe fuel shortages that have crippled hospitals and caused power cuts..(AP)

Iranian fuel shipments to Lebanon to help ease a crippling fuel shortasge were all purchased by a group of Lebanese Shi’ite businessmen, Iran’s semi-official Nournews said on Thursday.

The report came hours after the leader of Lebanon’s Iran-aligned Hezbollah group said an Iranian fuel shipment would set sail on Thursday.

“Based on information we have received the Iranian fuel shipments that…(Hezbollah’s leader Hassan) Nasrallah mentioned today were all bought by a group of Lebanese Shi’ite businessmen,” Nournews reported.

“The shipments are considered their property from the moment of loading” said the news website, which is close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

Hezbollah’s foes in Lebanon warned of dire consequences from the move, with Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri, a former prime minister, saying it risked sanctions being imposed on a country whose economy has been in meltdown for nearly two years. 


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