Iran ready to offer Lebanon 600,000 tonnes of fuel, local media says

On Monday, Tehran's embassy in Beirut said that the ships could be there within two weeks; source from the energy ministry confirmed the amount



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Tue 20 Sep 2022, 3:24 PM

On Tuesday, Iranian officials told a Lebanese technical delegation visiting Tehran that Iran could offer Lebanon 600,000 tonnes of fuel over a period of five months to help ease its power shortages, Lebanese TV station Al Manar reported.

If the fuel deal goes through, it would be Iran's first supply of fuel directly to the Lebanese state after it previously sent some to its ally Hezbollah, a powerful armed movement that is part of Lebanon's coalition government.

Lebanon has struggled with outages for decades, but its economic meltdown since 2019 has drained state coffers, slowing down imports of fuel for government plants, that has left most of the country with just one-two hours of state-provided electricity per day, and forced households to rely on subscriptions to private generators that have skyrocketed as global fuel prices spiked.

Earlier this month, Iran offered Lebanon the "gift" of fuel, in the specifications required to run Lebanese power plants, sources told Reuters, with no details on the type of fuel.

On Monday, Iran's embassy in Beirut said that the fuel ships could be in Lebanon within two weeks.

A source from the energy ministry confirmed the amount, and said the deal would likely be finalised in the next day.

"We sent a technical delegation to Tehran and they are studying the details," an energy ministry spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.

Last year, Iran sent fuel to Hezbollah, which is designated a terrorist organisation by the United States and some other Western nations. That fuel was shipped to Syria, and then brought into Lebanon in trucks, in an attempt to avoid US sanctions on Iran's energy sector.

The United States did not take any action over that last year. The US embassy also had no immediate comment on Tuesday.

The head of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has repeatedly urged Lebanon's government to turn to Iran for fuel to ease its energy crisis.

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