Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said the memorandum of understanding with Iran approved by the Cabinet Wednesday is a positive response by Lebanon to Iran’s initiative to assist with the electricity sector, a local daily reported Thursday.
“This MOU represents Lebanon welcoming the idea of an understanding with Iran, which expressed its willingness to pay $450 million to help Lebanon in the electricity sector,” Bassil said in remarks published in al-Joumhouriya Thursday. He added that the issue requires further study before his ministry takes any concrete steps.
Iran has offered to sell Lebanon electricity at reduced prices as well as build additional power plants to help the country meet its growing electricity demands. Demand currently exceeds 2,400 MegaWatts a day while daily production struggles at below 1,500 MW.
The energy minister also said that the MOU, which was only just approved but had been proposed by Iran a couple of years ago, was reviewed by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Cabinet in 2010 but that no serious discussion took place. Bassil criticized media outlets which he said jumped to conclusions about the import of the MOU, saying: “They [media outlets] said it would guarantee bringing electricity from Iran and that’s not true.”