Dozens of tankers loaded with Iranian diesel, which Hezbollah brought in from its main supporter, Tehran, entered Lebanon Thursday morning, coming from neighboring Syria, according to an AFP correspondent on the impact of popular receptions.
As part of its efforts to alleviate a severe fuel crisis in Lebanon, with the decline in its ability to import in the wake of an accelerating economic collapse, Hezbollah announced last month that First steamer loaded with diesel You will sail from Iran. The Secretary-General of the party, Hassan Nasrallah, said on Monday that it had unloaded its cargo at the Baniyas port in western Syria.
Dozens of tanks with Syrian plates began entering the Hermel region (east) in the morning, through an illegal crossing, according to an AFP correspondent.
Along the road towards the city of Baalbek, dozens of party supporters gathered in rejoicing, some of them hoisting party flags, while women chanted ululated and scattered rice and roses at the tanks whose drivers sounded their horns.
The convoy includes 80 tanks, with a capacity of four million liters, to be unloaded in the warehouses of the municipality stations in the city of Baalbek, which has been on the US sanctions list since 2020, before being distributed later according to a list of priorities set by the party.
Jawad (50 years old), a resident of the city of Hermel, which is considered a stronghold of Hezbollah, told AFP, “It is humanitarian aid to meet the needs of people and institutions that deal with bread, flour and basic needs.”
He stressed that “Hezbollah will not take the place of the state. This is a temporary measure until the state fulfills its duties.”
“Lebanese hostage to Iran”
Hezbollah’s announcement on August 19 of its intention to import fuel from Tehran sparked political criticism from its opponents, who accused it of mortgaging Lebanon to Iran, while the Lebanese authorities had repeatedly announced that they were committed in their financial and banking transactions not to violate the international and US sanctions imposed.
Nasrallah said on Monday that his party had taken the decision of the arrival of Iranian ships to the port of Banias to prevent the Lebanese state from “embarrassing” it and subjecting it to “punishments,” saying that a second diesel ship would be launched “in a few days”, while a third ship began loading gasoline on Monday, and it was agreed to prepare a fourth ship. Bearing diesel.
Hezbollah’s move came in the wake of the fuel shortage crisis, which is largely reflected in various sectors, including hospitals, bakeries, communications and foodstuffs, in the midst of an economic collapse that has been going on for two years, which the World Bank has ranked among the worst in the world since 1850.
During the past months, the ability of the Electricité du Liban to provide nutrition to all regions gradually declined, which led to the increase in rationing hours to exceed 22 hours per day. Private generators are no longer able to provide the diesel needed to cover the hours of power outages.
The arrival of the tankers comes hours before a meeting to be held by the new government headed by Najib Mikati, on whose agenda the discussion of the ministerial statement, which includes the outlines of its work in the next phase, is to be approved, before heading to Parliament next week to gain its confidence.