TEHRAN — After 19 days, the Iranian ship containing 33,000 metric tons of gasoline reached Baniyas port in Syria on Tuesday.Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah had threatened retaliation if anyone tried to interfere with the shipment and said the tankers bringing fuel are considered Lebanese territory.
Nasrallah dropped a bombshell when he announced that an oil tanker carrying Iranian fuel oil was bound for Lebanon.
Addressing a commemorative ceremony marking the Day of Ashura, Hezbollah’s chief announced that the first of several ships loaded with fuel would sail from Iran to Lebanon within hours, warning the United States and Israel against any sabotage.
“Our first ship has completed all arrangements and will sail within hours from Iran to Lebanon with the blessing of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him),” he said, noting, “This ship will be followed by other ships, but we gave priority to diesel oil on the first ship because it is a top priority and is linked to people’s lives.”
Nasrallah thanked Syria for receiving the shipment on Sunday and facilitating its transfer, and said it would reach Lebanon by Thursday.
Unable to deliver directly by sea to Lebanon due to sanctions, the Iranian vessel, named Faxon, went instead to Baniyas, Syria for land transfer.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati has not yet commented on the arrival of the Iranian tanker.
“Lebanon set to receive more fuel shipments from Iran”
The Hezbollah chief said a third and a fourth fuel-laden vessel is expected to navigate towards Lebanon in the future, saying his group seeks for a part of Lebanon’s fuel needs to be met using Iranian imports.
“Paperwork has been done for the dispatch of the third gasoline-laden ship from Iran. The fourth ship will carry diesel and will be sent over subsequently,” Nasrallah said during a speech on Monday, Press TV reported.
Referring to Lebanon’s new government that was formed recently at the direction of President Michel Aoun following endless indecision, he said the government would decide on any fuel shipments that could follow that.
Nasrallah, however, asserted “we want part of Lebanon’s fuel imports to be provided by Iran.”
The Hezbollah movement announced a decision to start importing fuel from the Islamic Republic last month amid crippling economic conditions, caused partly by the United States’ sanctions that have been targeting Lebanon over Hezbollah’s legitimate involvement in the country’s political and military sectors.
‘Some hoped Israel would target the ships’
Nasrallah went on to say that some used to speculate that the promise for shipment of fuel from Iran simply served propagandist media purposes. “It, however, became finally clear that such remarks are false,” he said, according to Press TV.
Those same people were hopeful for the Israeli regime to target the vessels, the Hezbollah chief said.
“[Their speculations] were proven wrong. Israel is in a tight spot and the deterrence equation is there” to dissuade it from taking any such action.
By deterrence power, Nasrallah was referring to his movement’s vast arsenal of missiles, including precision ones, that the group has vowed not to hesitate to deploy to defend the country against the Tel Aviv regime.
Meanwhile, Nasrallah said the fact that the movement was distributing the fuel at a lower price that its purchase and imports have cost proved that it has not been cooperating with the fuel shipment “for commercial purposes.”
“We’re not after conducting business here,” he noted.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/465077/Iranian-fuel-tanker-reaches-Syria