Utilizing energy exports as a political tool in foreign policy and making fuel shipments to allies to help enhance their security have been of interest to Iran in recent years. Lebanon is a case in point as Iran and its proxy, the Hezbollah, have tried to use fuel as a political weapon.
The Lebanese fuel crisis is largely a symptom of its unprecedented economic crisis as the small country is virtually on the verge of bankruptcy.
In August Iranian media reported the departure of an Iranian fuel ship to Lebanon. In the past, part of the cargo of Iranian ships carrying fuel to Syria went from Latakia to parts of Lebanon, and a number of these ships were attacked by Israel. Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah claimed that the Iranian fuel shipments were paid for by a group of Lebanese Shiite businessmen and are considered their property from the moment of loading.
The Lebanese government which controls gasoline imports and distribution is…