BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 A.M.) – Lebanese Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar said on Thursday that Lebanon does not intend for the time being to negotiate with Iran to import fuel, which is in stark contrast of what the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said during his televised speech.
Ghajar said, as reported by Reuters, referring to talks with the Iraqi government about possible fuel supplies, that there are no plans at the moment to negotiate with Iran to import fuel and that the current discussions are with Iraq.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “importing oil from Iran will not be acceptable,” pointing to the ongoing sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
He added: “It will definitely be a sanctioned product, and we will do everything we can to ensure that Iran cannot sell crude oil anywhere, and that includes Hezbollah in the region.”
On Tuesday, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that a “quiet discussion” was taking place with the government over the idea of Lebanon purchasing refined products from Iran in Lebanese pounds, which will ease pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
Lebanon suffers from an acute financial crisis and severe shortage of liquidity in hard currency.
The Lebanese pound has lost about 80% of its value since October, when the long-running crisis peaked.