The leader of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, Hassan Nasrallah, said on Sunday that vessels carrying Iranian fuel will be setting sail soon followed by others to ease fuel shortages in Lebanon.
Iranian companies to drill for oil offshore Lebanon
Nasrallah suggested during his speech on Sunday. that the next Lebanese government pursue drilling for oil and gas off of Lebanon’s coast, stressing that Hezbollah could bring an Iranian company to drill, if necessary,
The Hezbollah leader offered to help drill for oil and gas in the waters of Lebanon’s coast, saying that if no companies are willing to do so due to fears of US sanctions or Israeli strikes, Hezbollah could bring an Iranian company to drill. Nasrallah added that drilling for oil and gas in Lebanon’s waters would rid the country of the need to import fuel.
Israel and Lebanon have been conducting US-mediated negotiations concerning their maritime border in the past year. The border dispute is about a triangular area of the Mediterranean Sea that starts at the countries’ land border, and is 5-6 km. wide on average. The area constitutes about 2% of Israel’s economic waters.
Iranian fuel shipments
The Iranian fuel shipments to Lebanon were purchased by a group of Lebanese Shi’ite businessmen, Iran’s semi-official Nournews said on Thursday.
The report came hours after Nasrallah 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.