Hassan Nasrallah (C) with Iran's ruler Ali Khamenei and former IRGC commander Ghasem Soleimani. Undated

Hezbollah Wants US Sanctions Waiver To Import Iranian Fuel


Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah repeated calls Monday for the cabinet to seek a US sanctions waiver to import Iranian fuel amid crippling shortages.

Nasrallah said the total blackout that occurred on Saturday when Lebanon's two largest power plants ground to a halt was like a "clinical death" for the country.

The Iran-backed Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah group has been coordinating Iranian shipments of fuel oil and gasoline for Lebanon since August as shortages spread amid an economic meltdown, despite U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil sales.

However, so far it is not clear if Hezbollah delivered any fuel to the country’s power stations or how the fuel was used.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has said the Iranian shipments constitute a breach of his country's sovereignty.

Iran sends the fuel oil shipments organized by Hezbollah to the port of Baniyas in Syria and from there they are transported by truck to Lebanon.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, on a visit to Beirut last week, said his country was ready to build two power plants in Lebanon, one in Beirut and the other in the south of the country, in a period of 18 months. The offer is more of a publicity stunt as Iran itself is gripped by power shortages unable to meet demand.

On Monday Nasrallah urged the cabinet to respond to his offer.

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