Ongoing mission of Iranian fuel tanker from Iran to energy “thirsty” Lebanon, Lebanese Hezbollah is expanding its efforts to address and undo US-style Cesar Plan sanctions aimed at disarming the powerful Shiite organization and marginalizing it from the Lebanese political scene.
Writes Dr. Evangelos Venetis*
In Lebanon, Hezbollah can not and does not intend to substitute services provided by the state. Nevertheless, it participates in the supply of food through “Al-Sajad” cards delivered to families who need to buy food at a sharp reduced price, which increased the number from one hundred and fifty thousand to two hundred thousand. It supports thousands of families who have reached the level of extreme poverty. In addition, Hezbollah brought drugs from Iran (more than 500 items) to meet some of the country’s needs when pharmacies close their doors and lack basic medical supplies.
With the diplomatic support of Russia Hezbollah in cooperation with Iran and Syria has agreed to deliver Iranian oil to Lebanon. Hezbollah will receive gasoline to cover its daily movements. Hospitals top the list of those expected to receive Iranian oil distributed by Hezbollah to prevent it from closing. Many hospitals closed more than half of their wards. Other medical facilities transported their patients to hospitals that still have fuel to generate electricity for the next few days. In various parts of Lebanon, hospitals are urging many patients to leave due to a lack of diesel fuel for electricity. The American University of Beirut Medical Center stopped respirators and other life-saving medical devices due to lack of fuel.
Hezbollah is expected to deliver Iranian fuel to the owners of tens of thousands of private electric generators. The lack of electricity in the country has strengthened the presence of thousands of private producers who, for decades, offer their services for a fee to compensate for the lack of electricity. They are expected to take advantage of oil delivered by Hezbollah to provide electricity to the people. The lack of diesel fuel for generator owners reached a critical level this hot summer, increasing the level of dissatisfaction of the population.
Diesel fuel is also planned to be given to some municipalities to ensure the removal of waste from the streets for fear of spreading the disease. Al-Amana is going to distribute Iranian oil and diesel to dozens of its approved stations and other local gas stations throughout Lebanon.
Hezbollah’s energy policy is based on the military protection of its fuel routes from possible attacks by its geopolitical adversaries. In the coming hours, it remains to be seen whether the logic of Lebanese peace and stability will prevail or whether the region will slip into a regional war centered on Palestinian Question.
*THE Dr. Evangelos Venetis is an expert on Islam and the Middle East