with permission from Middle East Observer

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Former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab said in a recent television interview that Iranian ships are loading their cargo and heading to Lebanon, despite ongoing US efforts – according to some observers – to financially choke the small Arab country.

Wahhab, a prominent Druze ally of Hezbollah, challenged the United States to militarily target these ships if it dared. The former minister was responding to concerns raised by the television host that the US may sanction the Lebanese government for accepting this urgent relief from Iran, or even forcefully stop these ships from reaching Lebanon.

The former minister explained that the Iranian goods will indeed reach Beirut, and they will be paid for in the Lebanese pound, thereby decreasing demand for the scarcely available US dollar and easing the crisis in the country.

Since October 2019 Lebanon has been in a financial crisis that has seen businesses close and prices and unemployment soar.

The Lebanese pound, which is officially pegged at 1,500 to the dollar, has lost over 80 percent of its value since October and is now trading at nearly 9,000 to the dollar on the black market after sharp falls in recent days.

Source: OTV Lebanon (YouTube)

Date: 29 June, 2020

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