Aug 25, 2021 06:41 UTC
  • Lebanese MP breaks ranks with his pro-US party, thanks Iran for fuel supply

A Lebanese lawmaker has broken ranks with his staunchly pro-American political party, thanking Iran for dispatching much-needed fuel shipments to the Arab country, which is grappling with a severe energy crisis, upon a request by the Hezbollah resistance movement.

In a recent interview to Al-Mayadeen, Cesar Maalouf, a member of parliament for the Lebanese Forces, chaired by senior Christian figure Samir Geagea, extended his gratitude to the “brotherly country” of Iran for “helping the Lebanese people” at a time when other countries have abandoned them.

“If our allies have sold us out and abandoned us, and are unable to help Lebanon, and a brotherly country named Iran wanted to help the Lebanese people — not only the Shias but all the Lebanese people — (by selling us fuel) at low prices and in exchange for the Lebanese Lira, should I thank this country or insult it,” said the Christian parliamentarian. “Of course I should thank it.”

The Geagea-led party has traditionally maintained a pro-US and anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah stance.

The party that now holds 15 out of 64 Christian seats in the Lebanese parliament was previously a militia group that emerged from the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).

“I did not ask for the Iranian fuel. I have just thanked Iran for standing with Lebanon,” the 43-year old lawmaker asserted. “At the same time, I asked the brotherly Arab states (in the past) —notably Saudi Arabia — (to help Lebanon),” he added.

“We are all going hungry. We are all being humiliated today. If you have a problem with Hezbollah and its weapons, put this problem aside. We are not talking politics right now. We are talking about the moral thing to do, the human thing to do. It is unacceptable that the Lebanese people get humiliated more than this at the petrol stations. We have fifty martyrs,” Maalouf said.

On Sunday Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the first vessel shipping Iranian fuel to Lebanon had sailed.

Earlier, he had warned the US and the Israel that the resistance movement would regard the vessels carrying Iranian fuel to Lebanon as Lebanese territory.

Hezbollah chief had on many occasions spoken about importing Iran’s oil to mitigate Lebanon’s dire fuel shortage, in case the government failed to deal with the crippling crisis.