Hassan Nasrallah accepts another shipment to ease shortages in the country, but critics warn the move risks sanctions.
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said a third Iranian fuel shipment has been agreed to alleviate crippling shortages in Lebanon.
“We have agreed to start loading a third ship,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Friday.
“The days to come will prove that those who doubt the cargoes arriving with fuel are wrong… and our words will be clear when the first ship reaches Lebanon. “
Nasrallah, leader of the Iranian-backed group, said on Sunday that the first ship carrying Iranian fuel to Lebanon had already left.
Hezbollah’s enemies in Lebanon have warned of the dire consequences of the purchase, saying it risks imposing sanctions on a country whose economy has been in crisis for nearly two years.
Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati said earlier on Friday in an interview with Saudi Arabian TV Al Hadath that he was against anything that could harm Lebanon’s interests, but also called on critics of the Iranian fuel deals to provide aid so that the country does not have to resort to them.
Nasrallah blamed the country’s economic crisis on what he called an economic siege by the United States, adding that the so-called Caesar sanctions imposed by Washington on Syria had hurt Lebanon.
“Go ahead and give Lebanon an exemption for Iranian gasoline and diesel… go ahead and give Lebanon a Caesar exemption,” Nasrallah said, addressing the United States in his speech.
The worsening fuel shortages in Lebanon reached a critical point this month, threatening to end daily life.
Nasrallah also urged senior politicians to stop debating the names of the new cabinet and urgently form a government.
“It is high time for this debate to end now,” he said.
Lebanon is ruled by the interim government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, who resigned along with his cabinet after a massive explosion in the port of Beirut ravaged the capital a year ago.
Mikati is the third prime minister appointed since then to attempt to form a government with President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally.
Mikati said on Friday he still had to overcome major hurdles to form a new government, amid a deep economic and political crisis that left the country with an interim administration for a year.
He told Al Hadath that the situation in Lebanon remains serious.
Forming a government is a necessary first step in securing international support to help Lebanon emerge from its deepest crisis since its 1975-90 civil war. The currency has collapsed, while drugs and fuel are running out.