Why Does Iranian Oil Violate Lebanese Sovereignty?

Published September 19th, 2021 - 08:15 GMT
Iranian fuel shipments imported by the pro-Iranian Hezbollah movement constitute a breach of Lebanon’s sovereignty
People raise an Iranian flag, as they gather to welcome tankers carrying Iranian fuel, upon their arrival from Syria in the city of Baalbeck, in Lebanon's Bekaa valley, on September 16, 2021. (Photo by AFP)
Highlights
US cracks down on Hezbollah financial network.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Iranian fuel shipments imported by the pro-Iranian Hezbollah movement constitute a breach of Lebanon’s sovereignty, according to comments published by his office.

“The violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty makes me sad,” Mikati told CNN in an interview, his office said in a posting on Twitter.

He added: “But I’m not concerned that sanctions can be imposed” on Lebanon “because the operation was carried out without the involvement of the Lebanese government.”

The Lebanese militant group on Thursday began bringing tanker trucks carrying fuel from Iran, a move it says should ease a crippling energy crisis in Lebanon. A tanker ship carried the fuel to Syria and from there it crossed into Lebanon. Both Syria and Iran are under US sanctions.

Late on Friday, the Lebanese broadcaster LBCI said that a new group of tankers carrying Iranian fuel entered Lebanon through the Hermel area.

Hermel is at the northern end of the Bekaa Valley, an area populated mainly by Shia Muslims from whom Hezbollah draws its support

The United States announced Friday sanctions on business networks in Lebanon and Kuwait that funded Hezbollah. It also targeted financial facilitators and front companies that support the group and Iran.


“Together, these networks have laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchange operations and trade in gold and electronics for the benefit of both Hezbollah and the IRGC-QF,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, referring to Iran’s Quds force, the arm of its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) that controls its allied militia abroad.

“Hezbollah uses revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities and to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region,” the statement said.

Blinken said Hezbollah was increasingly looking for additional sources of revenue to bolster its coffers and he called on governments around the world to take steps to ensure it and other terrorist groups do not exploit their territory and financial institutions.

“The United States will not relent in targeting these networks, and we will continue to take actions to disrupt their activities,” he said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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