A dispatch of Middle East Observer (MEO)
Noble Syria and Iran step up to help Lebanon in its hour of need. Hezbollah's good sense and patriotic loyalty an example for Lebanon and the region.
Source: Al-Manar TV (Website)
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Transcript: (Note: the following are not direct quotes, but translations of breaking news items)
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary General:
– So as not to embarrass the Lebanese government (and certain parties), we went for the second option, which is sending the (Iranian fuel) ship to the Syrian Baniyas Port, and Syria (who accepted receiving the ship) has facilitated (the ship’s) movement at the Baniyas Port and secured fuel tanks for the transportation process of the oil derivatives (across the Lebanese-Syrian border).
– Our sincere thanks go to the Syrian leadership for their support and facilitation (of the process), and their understanding and contribution to the success of this step so far, and for the next stages (as well).
– The first ship arrived at the Baniyas Port, Sunday night at 2:30 a.m., and the unloading of its cargo will be finished today (Monday), and the transfer of this material is supposed to begin this Thursday to specific reservoirs in the Baalbek region (in Lebanon), from where it will be distributed to the rest of the regions of Lebanon
– There were some (sides who) considered (i.e. framed) our promise to import oil derivatives from Iran as mere media talk, an effort that has failed.
– The existing deterrence equation (imposed by Hezbollah that protects) Lebanon, (also protects) the fuel ships and allowed the safe arrival of the first ship and (will ensure) that the other ships (arrive safely too, God willing).
– The ship that arrived carries diesel oil and the second ship that will arrive in a few days to Baniyas Port will be carrying diesel too.
– All the administrative prerequisites have been completed to begin the transport of the third ship (from Iran), which will be carrying gasoline (petrol).
-The fourth ship, which will be sent later, will carry diesel due to the coming winter seasons
– As for the method of delivery, we have adopted the following mechanism: for one month, starting September 16 till October 16, oil derivatives will be made available as donations to the following entities (in Lebanon): public hospitals, retirement homes (for the elderly), orphanages, special needs facilities, water institutions, and (poor) municipalities (local government councils) that use water wells.
– Civil Defence regiments and the Lebanese Red Cross will be receiving (diesel in the form of) donations too.
– A month after the arrival of the first ship, (the second category to be provided with diesel) will be pharmaceutical factories, serum laboratories, bakeries, (local) markets/shopping centres, as well as private power companies providing people with electricity through (private) power generators.
– In selling oil derivatives for private power companies at a price lower than the cost, we will reach an agreement to (ensure) the lowering of the (currently) exaggerated (artificially inflated) prices that are set for citizens.
– Our (great) concern is that the diesel oil is utilised for the sake of easing the suffering of the Lebanese people and (not to be sold) in the black market.
– We stress that the oil derivatives will be sold at less than the cost price, and we will consider the losses as an aid and gift from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hezbollah.
– The main focus in terms of distributing (the diesel to Lebanese organisations/entites) will primarily occur via the US-sanctioned Al-Amanah Company (since it is already sanctioned!), while other (distribution) companies will be considered later on.
– My advice to the new government – which would not want (to bear the consequences of) lifting (government) subsidies – is to ensure that subsidised oil derivatives reach the citizens so that traders and monopolists won’t monopolise and sell them at (higher) new prices next month.
– Initially we (Hezbollah) were able to organise a a convoy of ships (from Iran), but we did not want to provoke (and antagonise) anybody because our goal is to alleviate (the Lebanese people’s) suffering, and so we used minimum media coverage in order to allow the process to actualise and achieve its intended purpose.
– We must thank the Islamic Republic of Iran, the leader Imam Khamenei (may his life be prolonged), President Ibrahim Raisi, and the Iranian officials.
– We thank Syria’s leadership and government for the facilitation, understanding, and cooperation it has shown and will show during the next stage.
– One of the blessings of this course (of organising fuel shipments from Iran), was that it opened new doors, especially after the immediate American actions following our move (i.e. suddenly allowing Lebanese officials to meet some of Lebanon’s electricity needs from Egypt & Jordan via Syria)
– We welcomed the visit of the official Lebanese delegation to Syria, and (thank Syria’s government) for handling the situation with openness and love despite the delicacy of the matter.
– Iraqi fuel is supposed to arrive soon by the end of September (too), which will (contribute to) alleviating (the Lebanese) people’s suffering, and we reiterate our thanks to the Iraqi government for their efforts.
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