The leader of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, Hassan Nasrallah, said on Thursday August 19 that a vessel carrying Iranian fuel will be sailing within hours to Lebanon
On Sunday, August 23rd Nasrallah, said that vessels carrying Iranian fuel will be setting sail soon followed by others to ease fuel shortages in Lebanon.
The Iranian fuel shipments to Lebanon were purchased by a group of Lebanese Shi’ite businessmen, Iran’s semi-official Nournews said on August 19.
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 which risked sanctions being imposed on a country whose economy has been in meltdown for nearly two years.
The first Iranian fuel oil shipment secured through Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement will be delivered via Syria by trucks to avoid complications related to sanctions, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday Sept 2nd.
The shipment would arrive at a Syrian port and then be trucked to Lebanon, with the first priority being to deliver fuel oil to hospitals for power generation, the sources told Reuters.
A report in Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar on Thursday said the vessel had entered Syrian waters.
But tracking service TankerTrackers.com has disputed the claim.
On Friday, TankerTrackers – which has been sharing regular updates on social media about the fuel shipment status – posted a tweet saying the first tanker had been delayed.
“The first tanker (carrying fuel for the electric power grid) is now delayed. We spotted her on satellite imagery and shared it with our clients,” the site wrote.
It was only supposed to reach the Suez Canal anchorage on September 4, the site added
It was following up on the status of the third tanker, the tracking service said.
TankerTrackers.com has also found that as of September 1 the second and third tankers have not yet left Iranian territory
“We shall publicly announce the names of the 3 tankers once/if they traverse the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea,” TankerTrackers.com added.