BEIRUT– Lebanese Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamieh who represents the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group in the cabinet announced on Monday that his ministry will activate maritime transport with Iranian maritime companies in accordance with the Lebanese law, the National News Agency reported.
“This is a sovereign decision. We will not give up on any sovereign decision that will activate maritime trade and bring benefit to the state’s treasury,” Hamieh said during his meeting with a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISIL Group).
Hamieh said that Iranian ships cannot dock at the Lebanese ports while these ships are currently anchoring in several ports in the world.
For his part, Mohammad Ali Nasiri, head of the Iranian delegation, said he discussed with Hamieh the potential of boosting maritime transport between Lebanon and Iran and means of facilitating trade between the two countries.
Lebanon has been avoiding Iranian ports, and Iranian ships are not allowed into Lebanese ports as the United States reimposed economic sanctions on Iran after former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
According to analysts Hamieh’s decision could spell trouble for Lebanon and its relations with the United States