A Lebanese lawmaker has inquired whether Lebanon can be described as an independent country while it has caved under US pressure to reject expanding its relations with Iran and China.
“We are proud of our cooperation and relations with Iran, which is fighting for its sovereignty,” the head of Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc — the political wing of the Hezbollah resistance movement — in the Lebanese parliament, said on Saturday, according to Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website.
Raad said the Americans are aware of Iran’s power, but are attempting in vain to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear energy power.
Iran began to send fuel to Lebanon in August through Hezbollah, which announced the purchase of Iranian fuel shipments after the Lebanese government’s failure to deal with the country’s crippling fuel shortages.
At the time, the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, claimed that Lebanon did not need Iranian tankers, citing what she called “a whole bunch” of fuel ships off the coast waiting to unload.
Meanwhile, Tehran has also said it respects Lebanon’s sovereignty and is ready to help Lebanon weather its economic crisis if the Lebanese government officially asks for Iran’s help.
Raad explained that Iran has proposed to Lebanon to launch two power plants within six months or a year, but some in the Arab country oppose the move.
“When we tell the ruling political groups in Lebanon to consider Iran’s proposals to Lebanon at all levels, they ask, ‘What are we going to do and say to the Americans who are vetoing our deal with Iran?’” he said.
The Lebanese lawmaker also noted that the Chinese have also offered to build power plants in Lebanon but the Americans do not allow it and also do not want to help the Mediterranean country in that regard.
“Despite all that, are we an independent country?” he asked.
Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the Islamic Republic is 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.
He also said Iran is willing to help rebuild the port of Beirut, which was destroyed by a massive blast in August 2020, if the Lebanese government makes such a request.