BEIRUT: Iranian fuel shipments imported into Lebanon by Hezbollah constitute a breach of the country’s sovereignty, Prime Minister Najib Mikati reiterated on Monday.
Lebanon’s new government, which was backed by a parliamentary vote of confidence on Monday, has said its permission was not sought regarding the import of Iranian diesel.
Hezbollah has stored the diesel in tanks in the Baalbek area owned by Al-Amana fuel company that has been under US sanctions since February 2020 due to its ties to the Iranian-backed group.
It began bringing tanker trucks carrying fuel from Iran last Thursday, a move it says would 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.
“The violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty makes me sad,” Mikati told CNN in an interview, his office said in a posting last week.
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.”
Late on Friday, the Lebanese broadcaster LBCI said that a new group of tankers carrying Iranian fuel entered Lebanon through the Hermel area, populated mainly by Shiite Muslims from whom Hezbollah draws its support.