An Iranian tanker carrying fuel for Lebanon entered Syria’s territorial waters, Lebanon’s al-Akhbar outlet reported.
The outlet reported that the ship would unload the fuel cargo at a Syrian port, from where it would be transferred to Lebanon via tankers.
Informed sources said two other Iranian ships will deliver their fuel to Lebanon through the same mechanism, adding that the fourth vessel will probably depart Iran soon.
Additionally, Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam news network reported that the Iranian fuel tanker, would dock in Baniyas port sometime between September 2nd and 3rd.
MSM also reported on the impending delivery.
A sanctions-busting shipment of fuel is under way from Iran to Lebanon, with two more to follow, according to satellite tracking consultancy TankerTrackers.com.
The firm reported that the first tanker shipment is now under way for the Suez Canal. The second tanker has departed port but has not left Iranian waters, and the third is now getting under way. The consultancy has not released the names of the vessels involved.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced the deal in mid-August, and he warned Israel and the United States against any interference with the Iranian tankers carrying the fuel. Iran’s petroleum exports are sanctioned by the United States, and American authorities have gone to great lengths to identify and penalize shipowners who facilitate the movement of Iranian oil. Israel has been engaged in a shadow war with Iran and Hezbollah for years, including frequent Israeli airstrikes on Hezbollah positions in Syria and alleged covert attacks on Iranian tankers.
“Despite the siege and sanctions on Iran and the pressures on it, it has never abandoned its allies and has not let down its friends,” Nasrallah said.
On September 1st, Lebanese energy minister Raymond Ghajar told journalists that the government has not received a request from Hezbollah for permission to import fuel.
“We do not have information. Permission was not requested from us. This is all I am saying,” he told Reuters.
The US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, claimed that Lebanon did not need Iranian tankers, citing what she called “a whole bunch” of fuel ships off the coast waiting to unload.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Iran’s fuel delivery risked sanctions being imposed on the Mediterranean state.
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