Anti-government protesters clash with riot policemen during a protest against government’s plans to impose new taxes, in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (AP)

July 3, 2020

Hezbollah supporters launched a hashtag in Lebanon Thursday, calling for Lebanon to accept an Iranian offer for fuel.

The hashtag, translated to English, #thelightrisesfromtheast, comes in response to reports that Iran has put forward an offer to send fuel tankers to Lebanon to resolve an electricity crisis.

Cash-strapped Lebanon faces a crisis due to a shortage of available US dollars, making imports more difficult.

Using the hashtag that was circulated on Twitter, a picture was posted by one user accusing Washington of “wanting darkness in Lebanon.” A rope with the flag of the US appears on the image, turning off a light switch.

Pro-Hezbollah newspaper, Al Akhbar, published an article on Wednesday titled, “Iran is ready: Take the fuel in Lebanese pounds!”

The daily said that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei promised Nasrallah that Tehran would help Lebanon during what Al Akhbar said was an “American blockade.”

In his last speech, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, Hasan Nasrallah, said that China and Iran had offered to help Lebanon and that Beirut needed “to look East” since, he claimed, the United States was looking to “starve” the Lebanese people.

Nasrallah said China was prepared to build new power plants in Lebanon, while the Iran-backed leader hinted that Iran would accept payments for fuel in Lebanese currency.

However, the US and European countries have offered to help Lebanon during its unprecedented crisis once the government implements reforms that would crackdown on corruption and wasted public funds.

American company, General Electric, and Germany’s Siemens have both expressed their willingness to help build new power plants in Lebanon.

Lebanon’s energy minister, Raymond Ghajar, said Wednesday that “a problem between Lebanon and supply companies” was the reason for increased power cuts over the last few days.

Lebanon’s electricity sector drains the country’s annual budget of an estimated $1.2-$1.8 billion, while still utilizing diesel fuel oil – which is more costly and environmentally harsh than other energy sources – for its power plants. In some areas, state-run power only provides a few hours of electricity, and citizens are forced to rely on costly generators to make up the rest.

Al Arabiya

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.