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Iran says ready to sell Lebanon fuel if Beirut asks, after delivery arranged by Hezbollah

People hold portraits of the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, 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. (AFP)
People hold portraits of the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, 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. (AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran says it’s willing to sell fuel to Lebanon’s government to help ease shortages, days after a first delivery of Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah entered the country.

“If the Lebanese government wants to buy fuel from us to resolve the problems faced by its population, we will supply it,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says.

He tells a news conference that the Islamic republic had already sold fuel to a “Lebanese businessman,” without naming the Hezbollah terror group.

Tehran-backed Hezbollah promised in August to bring fuel from Iran to alleviate the shortages sowing chaos in Lebanon, in defiance of US sanctions.

On Thursday, dozens of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah arrived in Lebanon and were due to fill the tanks of fuel distribution firm owned by Hezbollah, which has been under US sanctions.

Lebanon’s new Prime Minister Najib Mikati had told CNN the shipment “was not approved by the Lebanese government.”

He was “saddened” by “the violation of Lebanese sovereignty.”

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