Hezbollah began bringing Iranian fuel into Lebanon via Syria today, a move the group says should ease a crippling energy crisis but which opponents say risks provoking US sanctions, Reuters reports.
Dozens of trucks carrying Iranian fuel oil entered northeastern Lebanon near the village of Al-Ain, where Hezbollah’s yellow flag fluttered from lampposts.
“Thank you Iran. Thank you Assad’s Syria,” declared a banner, referring to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
The trucks sounded their horns as they passed through Al-Ain. Some onlookers waved Hezbollah’s flag, while a woman and boy threw petals at one vehicle.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah has said the ship carrying the fuel docked in Syria on Sunday after being told going to Lebanon could risk sanctions.
Washington has reiterated that US sanctions on Iranian oil sales remain in place. But it has not said whether it is considering taking any action over the move by Hezbollah.
The Lebanese government has said its permission was not sought to import the fuel. A security source said the tanker trucks passed through an unofficial border crossing.
Hezbollah has said it will donate fuel oil to institutions in need including government hospitals and orphanages and sell it at “an appropriate price” to others including private hospitals, medical storage facilities and flour mills.