With fuel from Iran, Lebanon won’t be sanctioned – Energy Minister
In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen Net, Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayyad hailed the Iranian donation amid Lebanon's fuel and power crises that have seen people receive less than two hours of electricity a day.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has recently expressed to Al Mayadeen, as part of the "Dialogue of the 40th Anniversary”, Hezbollah’s readiness to provide Iranian fuel to Lebanese power plants for free, conditioning the proposal to the Lebanese government's approval.
Al Mayadeen Net conducted an exclusive interview with Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayyad during which he hailed the Iranian donation amid Lebanon's fuel and power crises that have seen people receive less than two hours of electricity a day.
“Lebanon is plunging into darkness”, he stated.
Meanwhile, he dismissed fears that Beirut will face any penalties for accepting Iran’s fuel donation.
"Electricity production plants require every liter of fuel, and this is no secret, especially with high summer temperatures and additional pressure from immigrants, expatriates, and displaced persons," Fayyad told Al Mayadeen Net.
"In this context," he continued, "we have prepared the specifications of the fuel required for production plants, distributed them to those involved, and posted them on the ministry's website."
Concerning the mechanism for accepting Iran’s donation to Lebanon, the minister points out that it is linked to a decision made by the Lebanese Council of Ministers.
When asked about Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati's approval, he said, "This is up to him."
On the demarcation of the maritime borders between Lebanon and occupied Palestine, Fayyad stressed the need for Lebanon to obtain its right to explore its oil and gas resources.
He went on to say that “Lebanon has as a golden opportunity to obtain its rights despite Israeli violations”, affirming that he backs gas extraction and the preservation of legitimate Lebanese rights.
He exposed that he asked the US mediator in the indirect talks between Lebanon and the Israeli occupation on the demarcation of the maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea Amos Hochstein not to add pressure on Lebanon, and to provide written guarantees to Lebanon which assure that the country will not be subject to sanctions pursuant to the Caesar Act if it accepts the Iranian donation.
It is worth noting that Fayyad had lately revealed telling Hochstein he supports delivering electricity to Lebanon, and can't refuse any donation in this regard, pointing out that the Iranian offer to supply Lebanon with fuel is a serious proposal with official documents.
Regarding the agreement to import gas from Egypt signed last June, the Lebanese minister believes that it was “the best option for Lebanon at the time."
He also mentioned that Lebanon has also signed agreements with Jordan for the supply and wheeling of electricity which is waiting for the approval of the US over exempting this agreement over the repressions of the Caesar Act and funding.
Last May, Fayyad told Al Mayadeen Net that “time is tight, and Lebanese Parliament must approve a loan to proceed with the agreement, stressing that the World Bank along with the US administration must approve the funding.
He also blamed the World Bank for the project delay.
The Lebanese Minister of Energy revealed that he has sent a letter a few days ago to his Algerian counterpart, the minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, to overcome the obstacles that prevent the resumption of hydrocarbons exports to power plants in Lebanon.
He also expressed his readiness to visit Algeria and meet with Algerian officials.
It is worth mentioning that the fuel crisis in Lebanon is escalating, making life more difficult for the Lebanese.