MEK: Hezbollah Smuggle Iran’s Oil
The People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), reported that Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah in Lebanon, was the first to proclaim his willingness to buy and import fuel from Iran in mid-July 2020.
Iran supplying oil and gasoline to Hezbollah in Lebanon
As per Nasrallah discussions had begun with the Beirut administration about the possibility of Iran supplying oil and gasoline derivatives in the Lebanese lira, easing the strain on Lebanon’s foreign exchange reserves.
Iran the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism
Following Hassan Nasrallah’s words, then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that such behavior was unacceptable and that the US government will do everything possible to prevent Iranian oil from being sold.
He went on to say that they will not allow the Iranian government, which is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, to sell oil and provide the proceeds to Hezbollah.
The import of gasoline from Iran
Nasrallah reiterated the same allegations concerning the import of gasoline from Iran after these remarks and after the crisis of gasoline shortages in Lebanon when protests erupted.
“I want to stress that I promised and I still promise… if we have to go to Iran to get gasoline and fuel oil, we will, even if it causes a problem,” Nasrallah said on June 25, 2021.
The purchase of fuel in pounds
Nasrallah claimed that, in order to evade US sanctions, he would not acquire Iranian petroleum through the Lebanese Central Bank. He went on to say that all technical systems had been prepared for such scenario. Meanwhile, Hassan Diab, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, allowed the purchase of fuel in pounds.
In other words, Hezbollah’s technique of buying gasoline from Iran isn’t transparent and it is subject to money laundering regulations.
Two oil tankers were transporting illicit fuel
The Lebanese government set aside $250 million each month for the distribution of low-cost fuel, which is challenging considering the country’s economic turmoil. Nasrallah resurfaced on Wednesday, August 4, in response to the government’s lowering of fuel subsidies, and declared that if the government could not act, we would import fuel.
Meanwhile, two oil tankers were transporting illicit fuel, and one of them was seized, during gasoline distribution, when a massive explosion occurred, killing roughly 20 people and injuring 79 more.
The first petroleum tanker had left Iran for Lebanon
Nasrallah said on August 19 that the first petroleum tanker had left Iran for Lebanon. A Lebanese Shiite businessman purchased the fuel transported to Lebanon from the Iranian government, according to some Iranian government intelligence and security sources.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has stated that buying fuel from Iran puts Lebanon dependent on a country that is under US and international sanctions.
Hezbollah’s smuggle gasoline with the support of the Iranian government
Given Hezbollah’s efforts to smuggle gasoline with the support of the Iranian government, whose oil shipments are subject to heavy US sanctions, there is a risk that US penalties will be imposed on Lebanese trade, which is currently facing its most difficult economic difficulty.
Profits from Iranian petroleum imports, on the other hand, do not go to the pockets of the bankrupted Lebanese government, but rather to the pockets of Hezbollah, which is utilized for the group’s terrorist operations.