Iran has reiterated its offer to send 600,000 tons of fuel to Lebanon over the course of five months to help the country deal with its power shortage.
According to Lebanese TV station Al-Manar, Iranian officials told a visiting Lebanese technical delegation on Tuesday that Tehran is ready to start the shipments.
On Monday, Iran's embassy in Beirut said tankers could be in Lebanon within two weeks. A Lebanese energy ministry spokesperson said they were unaware whether the fuel import deal had been struck but said "any gift from anywhere is welcome".
If the deal goes through, it would be Iran's first supply of fuel directly to the Lebanese state. The Islamic Republic previously sent some shipments of fuel to its ally Hezbollah, an armed group that is part of Lebanon's coalition government.
Earlier in September, two Lebanese government sources said Beirut was about to send a delegation to Iran for talks on acquiring “free fuel” after Iran's Ambassador Mojtaba Amani proposed an Iranian "gift" of fuel to the country.
Lebanon has been struggling with outages for decades but its economic meltdown since 2019 has drained state reserves and slowed down imports of fuel for government plants, leaving most of the country with just one or two hours of state-provided electricity per day.
Lebanon has natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea but a boundary dispute with Israel has so far prevented gas extraction that could help its economy.
The delivery of free fuel to another country is a sensitive issue in Iran where an economic crisis has impoverished millions of people, while the government has failed to reach a nuclear deal with the West, which could end economic sanctions imposed by the United States since 2018.