BEIRUT (Dispatches) --
Hezbollah deputy head Sheikh Naim Qassem says Iran’s fuel shipments to Lebanon are a political, social and moral achievement in the face of the U.S. oppression and its crimes against humanity.
Addressing the Arab Forum, United for Lebanon Resisting Siege, Monopoly, and Corruption on Friday, Sheikh Qassem said Lebanon’s developments are in stark contrast to the U.S.-Israeli project, Al-Ahd news website reported.
He said the Americans are surprised to see that Iran’s fuel-laden ships have broken the siege of Lebanon and provided the Lebanese with the vital product.
Hezbollah has confronted the Israeli occupiers and would be able to counter the U.S. siege in appropriate ways, Qassem added.
He also called for cooperation and solidarity among Arab countries, particularly among Lebanon’s neighbors, saying Beirut welcomes any unconditional support.
The first ship carrying Iranian fuel reportedly entered Syria’s territorial waters on September 2 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 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in August, is seen as a watershed in the U.S. sanctions, which have severely affected Lebanon and Iran alike.
The Lebanese bloc said the insistence of Nasrallah on helping the Lebanese people forced the Americans to rush through measures to maintain a say in the country’s affairs.
In a phone call with Gebran Bassil, the former Lebanese minister of foreign affairs and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran was ready to sell more fuel to the Lebanese government and businessmen if needed.
Amir-Abdollahian said Iran set no limitation to the expansion of mutual relations with Lebanon and was ready to sell more fuel production to “new customers.”