A diplomatic crisis between the United States and Lebanon over fuel – The Independent

A diplomatic crisis between the United States and Lebanon over fuel – The Independent
A diplomatic crisis between the United States and Lebanon over fuel – The Independent

4 September 2021, 04:14 GMT

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Desperate motorists queue up at gas stations

British newspapers dealt with a number of Middle Eastern issues, most notably the diplomatic crisis between the United States and Lebanon, over importing oil from Iran, and Biden’s decision to release investigations into the September 2001 attacks, pointing to the possibility of Saudi involvement.

A crisis between the United States and Lebanon over Iranian oil

We begin with the newspaper’s presentation of the Independent newspaper, which wrote that the Lebanese fuel crisis, which led to power cuts and water cuts to millions, sparked a diplomatic crisis with the United States, due to the plan to import Iranian oil in violation of sanctions imposed on Iran.

She added that this prompted the United Nations to pledge 10 million dollars to help in the crisis.

The newspaper recalled Lebanon’s economic crisis and the collapse of the local currency, resulting from long years of “mismanagement and corruption.” And the consequences of this crisis with regard to the scarcity of fuel, and its impact on the provision of electricity and water, and on the health sector.

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File photo of two tankers carrying Iranian oil

She said the fuel crisis had also caused a diplomatic crisis. The United States warned Lebanon against accepting an oil ship from Iran.

It quoted that the delegation of US senators who visited Lebanon this week, warned that importing Iranian oil might have “serious consequences”.

She stated that Hezbollah announced this agreement last month, and that the website “Tanker Trackers” reported on Friday that at least two ships were sailing towards Lebanon.

And the newspaper continued, saying that members of Congress warned during the visit of the impact of this step on relations with the West, offering to help the United States instead of Iran.

She added that the United States is in talks with Egypt, Jordan and the World Bank to help resolve the crisis, and this may include transferring electricity through Syria.

The Independent reported that a high-ranking Lebanese delegation will visit Syria on Saturday, for the first time in years, as a first step.

The newspaper quoted a source in the Central Bank of Lebanon as saying that the fuel crisis was caused by smuggling to Syria, and that he expected more subsidies to be lifted at the end of this month, which would lead to higher prices.

Biden asks for release of investigations into 9/11 attacks

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Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks

And to the Guardian newspaper, which dealt with President Joe Biden’s request from the FBI, to release the investigation files into the September 11, 2001 attacks.

She pointed out that Biden’s announcement comes in response to intense pressure from Congress and from the families of the victims who are currently suing Saudi Arabia.

The newspaper quoted what was stated in the executive order issued on Friday, which referred to the release of the full record, in installments within six months, “unless the strongest possible reasons prevented it.”

“Information should not be kept secret when the public interest outweighs the disclosure of any harm to national security,” the statement said.

The newspaper reported that the families of the victims have long called for the United States to release the results of an FBI investigation alleging possible Saudi complicity, especially after contacts between Saudi officials and hijackers involved in the September 11 attacks who lived in California in the months leading up to the attacks.

Riyadh has denied any involvement in the kidnapping, and Saudi Arabia is facing a lawsuit brought by the families in federal court in New York, according to the Guardian.

The executive order comes a month after bipartisan legislation was proposed in Congress that would demand more transparency in the investigation.

The Guardian reported that within two months of the date of the issuance of the executive order, the FBI and all other agencies must release all records previously classified, in whole or in part.

And that within six months, the government must release anything relevant, from any further investigation of the kidnappers or “anything that might relate to a foreign government.”

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US intelligence concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential race against Trump

Who is the Russian businessman that the United States is seeking to sue?

The Times reported that the founder of a cybersecurity firm with close ties to the Kremlin may be on trial in the United States for coordinating Moscow’s attempt to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

The Times reported that Vladislav Klyushin, 40, was arrested in Switzerland in March on the basis of a court order from the Ministry of Justice after coming to the country on a private plane for a family holiday at a ski resort.

She added that FBI investigators say Clyushin and his associates hacked into US companies to steal confidential data, which they then used to earn tens of millions of dollars in stock markets.

The newspaper quoted his lawyer, Oliver Sirek, that the allegations of internal corruption were fabricated, as a pretext to bring Cleuchin to the United States. Once there, he said, the businessman will be accused of leading an operation by Russian military intelligence to influence the 2016 election and hack the data of President Trump’s Democratic rivals.

And the newspaper continued, saying that the United States indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers in 2018 for breaking into the computers of Democratic Party officials and election administrators in the states.

Under Swiss law, it is illegal to extradite suspects if they are accused of “mostly political” crimes.

The newspaper said Cleuchin’s legal team in Geneva is struggling to prevent his extradition to the United States on the grounds that the accusation of election hacking is political. While his company in Moscow is engaged in “strategically important” work for the Russian state, the Times reported.

The newspaper added that Klyushin is the founder of the “M13” company, which provides cybersecurity and media monitoring services to the Kremlin and to Russian ministries, including the Ministry of Defense.

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