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Lebanon says Iran fuel donation will be vital to its new energy plan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Lebanon says Iran’s fuel donation will be vital to plans to change electricity supply system in the country.

Lebanon’s energy minister Walid Fayad says an Iranian fuel donation planned to reach the Arab country in the near future will be vital to Beirut’s plans to reform its electricity supply system.

Fayad said on Saturday that free fuel deliveries from Iran will enable the Lebanese energy ministry to boost its finances by increasing electricity supply to customers in the country.

Fayad made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian ambassador to Lebanon Mojtaba Amani, according to a report by the official NNA news agency. 

The meeting came two days after reports suggested that Amani had met Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati to extend Iran’s offer of free fuel as a gift to Lebanon at a time of economic hardship in the country.

Lebanon has been beset by a severe fuel crisis that has left many households and businesses struggling with recurrent power outages.

Iran supplied free fuel shipments to Lebanon via Syria last year after the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah asked for Iranian help to ease the energy shortage in the country.

Lebanon will take delivery of the free fuel shipments from Iran without being exposed to US sanctions that ban any financial transaction with the Iranian energy sector.

Reports suggest Iran has also offered to carry out repair and construction works in the Lebanese power plants.

Fayad said during the Saturday meeting with Amani that almost all political groups and factions in Lebanon were united in their appreciation of Iran’s initiative to donate fuel to the country.

He admitted, however, that Hezbollah Leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah and leader of the Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil had been influential in making the initiative a success.

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