BEIRUT (Dispatches) – The Hezbollah resistance movement says the United States has a “proven role” in destroying Lebanon’s economy by imposing tough sanctions against the country and supporting its corrupt officials.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Saturday that the Americans have pushed Lebanon, through pressure, to a point where 80 percent of its population are below the poverty line, Raialyoum electronic newspaper reported.
“U.S. meddling in Lebanon and corruption in the ruling class are the two causes of the deteriorating economic and social situation… Corruption is reinforced by the U.S. backing for corrupt leaders,” he added.
“The role of the United States in destroying the Lebanese economy has been proven with definitive reasons. This is no longer hidden to anyone. They imposed sanctions, led the banking system to bankruptcy and prevented it from interacting with other countries,” Sheikh Qassem said.
Lebanon has been mired since late 2019 in a deep financial crisis that has caused the Lebanese pound to lose around 90 percent of its value to the dollar and led its banking system to collapse.
On Saturday, the country was plunged into a total blackout after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel.
The country’s electricity grid was back online Sunday after the army supplied fuel to two key power stations that had run out, a minister said, ending almost a day of total blackout.
The Deir Ammar and Zahrani plants ground to a halt Saturday, causing the state electricity network to collapse completely for the second time this month.
Energy Minister Walid Fayad said Sunday that the grid was back up and running.
“The network is back to normal, as it was before the gasoil ran out at Deir Ammar and Zahrani,” he said in a statement, implying production would revert to the previous few hours a day.
State electricity in most places is barely available for an hour a day, while the fuel needed to power private back-up generators is also in short supply, reports say.
The U.S. has exacerbated the crisis by imposing a siege on Lebanon in a bid to force the formation of a Western-friendly administration there.
Qassem slammed the U.S. for adopting the so-called Caesar Act, which has hindered Syria’s economic cooperation with Lebanon.
Hezbollah’s second in command also warned that some so-called civil society groups in Lebanon are receiving large sums of money from the U.S. embassy to fund their agenda to destroy the country, affect the public opinion and counter the resistance movement.