The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has announced the arrival of a second Iranian tanker ship loaded with diesel in Syria in order to help ease crippling fuel shortages in crisis-stricken Lebanon amid a dire economic crisis.
Hezbollah's media relations office, in a statement released early on Friday, said the fuel shipment from Iran arrived in Syria's northwestern port city of Baniyas at around 10 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Thursday, Lebanese al-Manar TV reported.
The statement added that truck convoys carrying Iranian fuel deliveries will enter Lebanon from Syria within the next few days.
The report comes as Lebanese media outlets reported late on Wednesday that a convoy of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel oil had crossed the border from Syria into Lebanon.
The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported that they entered from Syria through a crossing in Lebanon’s eastern region of Hermel.
A senior Hezbollah official has praised the arrival of Iranian fuel cargo in Lebanon, saying the resistance movement made the decision to import fuel from the Islamic Republic in order to preserve the dignity of the Lebanese nation and end their humiliation amid a crippling energy crisis.
Head of Hezbollah's political bureau Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed strongly criticized Lebanese authorities for their failure to address people’s woes.
“Lebanese officials only know how to receive huge sums of money from embassies and squander them… Cash is being funneled by Americans, Europeans, [Persian] Gulf states as well as Saudi Arabia,” he said at a ceremony in Nabi Osman village in the northern part of the Bekaa Valley last Sunday.
“We cannot count on failed cowards to address people's woes,” Sayyed said, adding, “We will, therefore, act ourselves with regards to fuel or anything to do with people's lives.”
On September 16, dozens of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah arrived in Lebanon. Hezbollah declared that it had broken the "American siege."
As they entered from Syria in the eastern region of Hermel, the trucks were greeted by large crowds of people waving Hezbollah's yellow flag and ululating women tossing rice and rose petals.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah earlier said the Iranian fuel shipments would be distributed free of charge to institutions, including state hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages and the Red Cross.
“[Hezbollah] is not looking to make a business out of this but wants to help ease the people’s hardships,” the Hezbollah secretary general said, adding that the rest of the Iranian fuel would be sold “below cost” to bakeries, private hospitals or companies that run private generators.
Lebanon has been mired in a deep economic and financial crisis since late 2019. The crisis is the gravest threat to the country’s stability since the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.
The economic and financial crisis is mostly linked to the sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Lebanon as well as foreign intervention in the Arab nation’s domestic affairs.
Compounding the woes, Saudi Arabia has imposed its own sanctions, including banning its citizens from traveling to Lebanon where Riyadh-backed elements have been jockeying for positions.
A new government was formed earlier this month to negotiate a financial rescue plan with international organizations.