In Brief: Iran sends fuel to Hezbollah to reinforce regional influence

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi. Image Credit: Ali Khamenei, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran has embarked on a campaign to establish itself as Lebanon’s primary fuel supplier, in order to empower its local proxy: the terrorist group Hezbollah.

A recent report by Iran’s state Tasnim media, titled ‘The Iranian ships, the triangle of resistance that shattered the American hegemony’, laid out the Iranian regime’s approach to exporting energy to Lebanon.

“Iran’s fuel exports to Lebanon to resolve the country’s crisis are currently making headlines in the Middle East and the West”, the report said.

The report also asserts that fuel ships, making their way via the Suez Canal to Lebanon, are “a point of hope for the country”.

The report also made explicit reference to Israel: “The Zionist regime, which along with the United States is considered one of the biggest victims of Iran’s fuel imports to Lebanon, has preferred to remain silent for the time being and has not even uttered its usual threats against Iranian ships”, it said.

Lebanese energy dependency on Iran would reinforce Hezbollah’s presence in the country and weaken the delicate balance that supports the Lebanese state.

Iran’s support for Hezbollah has worked to undermine the Lebanese state for decades.

Hezbollah has its own extra-judicial armed forces, with some 150,000 missiles. These forces have engaged in the Syrian civil war, as well as conducting Lebanon’s foreign policy.

Hezbollah also has independent telecommunications, construction, banking and supermarket networks.

The US has encouraged Lebanon to identify alternative fuel and electricity sources in Egypt and Jordan. However, this would require cooperation with the Tehran-backed Syrian regime.