Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Tehran is ready to sell more fuel to the Lebanese government and businessmen if need be, as an Iranian ship transporting fuel for the crisis-hit country has entered Syria’s territorial waters.
In a Friday phone call with Gebran Bassil, the former Lebanese minister of foreign affairs and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, Amir-Abdollahian said Iran sets no limitation to the expansion of mutual relations with Lebanon and is ready to sell more fuel production to “new customers.”
“The strategy adopted by the esteemed leader of Hezbollah to end this Zionist-made crisis against the Lebanese people confirms the fact that the path to Lebanon's honor depends only on self-reliance and the use of its assets and resources,” he said.
The top diplomat emphasized Iran's unwavering support for Lebanon's government, army and the resistance movement.
The first ship containing Iranian fuel reportedly entered Syria’s territorial waters on Thursday to unload its cargo, which will be then transferred to Lebanon via tankers. Informed sources said that two other Iranian ships will also deliver their cargo to Lebanon through the same mechanism.
Fuel shortages in Lebanon have forced businesses and government offices to close, threatening to cause blackouts at hospitals and halt transportation and other vital sectors in the Arab country.
The plan to buy Iranian fuel, announced by Secretary General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on August 19, is seen as a watershed in the US sanctions, which have severely affected Lebanon and Iran alike.
In his announcement, the Hezbollah chief warned the US and Israel that Hezbollah would consider the tanker and next Iranian ships as “Lebanese territory” from the moment they sail. He later stressed that the Lebanese resistance group did not have any political aspirations by importing fuel from Iran.
The former Lebanese foreign minister, for his part, thanked Iran for selling and shipping fuel to Lebanon.
Bassil criticized those who want to starve the Lebanese people in order to achieve their political ambitions and called for the improvement of all-out ties with Iran.
He also delivered to Amir-Abdollahian a message from Lebanese President Michel Aoun to his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raeisi.