Despite the possibility that Lebanon will be subject to US sanctions, and despite the announcement by the official Lebanese authorities not to grant it permission to import, Hezbollah is sticking to the entry of Iran’s sanctioned fuel into Lebanon through Syria.
With the Tanker Trackers website announcing that the first Iranian ship loaded with fuel bound for Lebanon arrives today at the Suez Canal, informed sources told Al Arabiya.net that the ship will arrive at the Syrian port of Banias early next week, after which the stage of unloading and transporting the cargo through land to Lebanon.
While the sources expected “Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to have a view in conjunction with the arrival of the Iranian ship to Syria,” they pointed out that “its cargo will be transported by tankers from Baniyas through the Homs-Qusair-Hermel road, close to the Syrian border,” by smuggling tanks affiliated with the backed party. Iran.
Informed sources explained, “A few days ago, Hezbollah informed a number of major smugglers and traders affiliated with it, especially in the areas near the Lebanese-Syrian border, to prepare their own tanks for use in the unloading of the ship.”
And she stated, “After being filled with diesel, the tanks will go directly from Baniyas to the Lebanese side, where their cargo will be unloaded in their warehouses, without stopping or being collected at a common Lebanese station.”
Distribution of diesel fuel to the allies
As for the parties that will benefit from the first shipment, the sources indicated that “Hezbollah allocated the bulk of the ship’s cargo to private hospitals and health centers affiliated with it in more than one region, in addition to a number of bakeries and loyal owners of electricity generators, and some official hospitals.”
She also talked about “the remaining part will be distributed by Hezbollah to its political allies, most notably the Free Patriotic Movement, headed by the President’s son-in-law, Michel Aoun, MP Gebran Bassil.”
An Iranian ship (archive – AFP)
Regarding the party that will distribute the Iranian fuel, the sources said, “The 400th unit in Hezbollah (the support and procurement unit) will take over the task, while Hashem Safi al-Din, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, will supervise it.”
Last month, Hezbollah announced that a shipment of Iranian oil was on its way to Lebanon, and later announced two other shipments.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Energy in the caretaker government, Raymond Ghajar, confirmed a few days ago that “Lebanon has not received a request to import Iranian fuel.”
While the US Senator, Richard Blumenthal, said during his visit to Beirut last Wednesday with a delegation from Congress, “There is no need for Lebanon to depend on Iranian fuel shipments.”
A demonstrator holds a drawing showing Hezbollah leader, Aoun and Berri crouching on the Lebanese flag (AFP archive)
These developments come at a time when Lebanon is witnessing a stifling economic and living crisis, the like of which the Lebanese have not seen for decades. Many observers fear that these Iranian oil shipments will contribute to imposing sanctions on the country, at a time when the economy cannot bear them in any way.
In addition to its economic crisis, the acute hydrocarbon crisis, which paralyzed various vital and basic sectors, has exacerbated the living situation, while popular anger has risen from all parties and political officials in the country, especially in areas considered loyal to Hezbollah and against its ministers and politicians.