Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/iran-fuel-to-rescue-lebanon-from-us-economic-invasion-economist/
Lebanese economist Ziad Nasreddine comments on the potential ramifications of Hezbollah’s ongoing efforts to ship Iranian fuel to Lebanon, an effort announced by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah a day earlier.
Source: Al-Manar TV via Kalam Siyasi (YouTube) Date: August 20, 2021
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Mr. Ziad, some say: what could (the ships) change, how could a ship or two coming from Iran constitute a solution for the stifling crisis we are experiencing, and the approach of (opening up to) the East must be done in a different way, and as long as it is not an exchange between a state and another (i.e. not from the side of Hezbollah as a party), the economic value of this action will be intangible, the Lebanese people who are experiencing the most severe siege won’t feel (any difference).
Ziad Nasreddine, Lebanese Economist:
Firstly, as for the issue of Iran, when we talk about the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are talking about a country that owns 10% of the world’s oil reserves, and 15% of the world’s gas reserves, and so it has a substantial surplus. Today (Iran) is providing power and electricity to Armenia, and a certain amount to Afghanistan, and a certain amount to Iraq and Pakistan as well. Therefore, there are many countries whose economies are tied to Iran and can deal with it.
Now when we talk about the internal affairs of Lebanon, today we can actually say that we have took a first step towards the East, and this first step is a fruitful step; it is not a matter of a ship or two, it is a matter of a strategic decision (concerning) the economic (affairs of Lebanon). Today, there is a real conflict between the East and West. The main question is ‘who needs the other, the East or the West?’. Today, the East has promising economies and great capabilities, and all the states surrounding (this geopolitical region) are allowed to deal with it and make strategic agreements, except for Lebanon.
The question today is, about a month ago, Saudi Arabia headed towards the East, specifically to China, and signed strategic agreements that might reach $90 billion, the UAE signed strategic deals with China, Jordan is also about to make agreements, and even the Israeli enemy is (doing so), yet (we are made to believe that) restrictions only (apply) to Lebanon?! Therefore, the fundamental and highly important depth of any economic rescue (project) for Lebanon must start, and will start, from Syria, and reach the depth of Asia and Iran.
Iran today plays a central role, today there are 14 states who have requested to get fuel and gas from Iran, so, we have entered a new phase. The fear (of US allies in Lebanon) today is not because of the diesel oil and gasoline coming to Lebanon, the fear is tied to this first step which forms a starting point for (the implementation of) major reforms related to the issue of electricity. The way it was accepted today – and it will be accepted by the Lebanese public, they will accept that we need diesel and gasoline, and this state (i.e. Iran) provided us (with those needs).
Tomorrow, we might return to (pre-existing) Iranian offers for the building of (power) plants in Lebanon as well, plants powered by gas. Let us talk in numbers: today we have, since the November (2019) crisis till the present day, spent $15 billion, between covering (government) subsidies and (taking into account) money that came in (to Lebanon) and money (that was) smuggled (abroad). This is while we actually only need $1 billion to build (power) plants and get rid of the entire (country’s) electricity (shortage) crisis! We spend $15 billion for (government) subsidies and to smuggle money abroad and many other things, yet we do not spend $1 billion to end (Lebanon’s) electricity problem!
We pay $3.5 billion yearly because we do not have electricity run on gas, nor have we built electricity plants for producing power. Today, this is the main problem, through which they (i.e. the US) were able (to harm Lebanon) via the electricity problem, (as) we had tied diesel oil to all our production sectors and (enabled a) a siege (to be imposed) on Lebanon. Lebanon was exposed to…what happened today (i.e. Nasrallah’s announcement) is that (a step was taken) to confront the economic siege, Lebanon was being exposed to an economic invasion just through (the exploitation) of diesel and gasoline. Therefore, all the sectors, during the months of September and October (2021)…there were plans in place to collapse Lebanon’s phone and internet (networks), (and plans were in place) to prevent the new academic year from starting (on time)…
All of this is because everything is tied to diesel oil (for everyday operation), hospitals are tied to diesel oil, bakeries are tied to diesel oil, schools, telecommunications, internet, and all these things today (depend on diesel oil). This crisis was expected to continue until we fall into a greater crisis after September and October. What is happening today is that we are carrying out an actual rescue of the (Lebanese) economy, we are saying that we want to put an economic plan on the table and consider it seriously, and that we (as a country) must not be a part of the projects of others anymore.
This shows there is still hope for autonomy and prosperity of Lebanon. This country has a lot of potential being a bridge between European and MIddle Eastern cultures
Lebanon was a never a ‘country’. It was a coastal region of arabia and for over 1000 years a part of the governerate of al Sham (Syria), carved out of arabia by the duplicitous imperial betrayal of the arabs known as Sykes/ Picot agreement (1917 WW1) – a couple of british and french imperial non-entities ruining millions of lives based on greed disguised by the excuse of ‘white mans burden’ invented by the AngloZionists to rob, rape and pillage on a global scale.
All faiths and none can coexist side by side in Paris and London in harmony but not in Arabia (or Afghanistan, or . . . ).
The region also belonged to the Roman Empire and the Ottoman empire. It was always influenced by different cultures, being a country by the Mediterranean Sea and being a hub for trades.
I mean, what would be the solution in your opinion? It’s unlikely Syria would be able to control that territory with the American presence in the Middle East. They have to take back Golan Hights and other American occupied territories first. Lebanon has to be a strong and independent country, or it will be swallowed by Israel…
Iran announced last week that it has discovered a new gas field in the Caspian, with ~3.5 trillion cubic meters of reserves.
According to oilprice.com, “Iran has estimated proven natural gas reserves of 1,193 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), second only to Russia, 17 percent of the world’s total and more than one-third of OPEC’s. Additionally, Iran has a high success rate of natural gas exploration, in terms of wildcat drilling, which is estimated at around 80 percent, compared to the world average success rate of 30-35 percent.”
So, to correct the Lebanese economist, Iran currently holds an estimated 17% of the world’s gas reserves, not 15%. And this figure can only go up, as exploration continues.
When oil and gas reserves are put together, Iran holds the world’s largest total energy reserves, according to many estimates.
And the Lebanese can pay for it all with Lebanese Lira, or hell, not pay for it at all, as long as this upsets the US and Israel.
BRICS countries should establish their own international currency which includes Venezuela, Iran and Cuba as well. Lebanon would profit from this too. With that I don’t mean making the same mistake like with the Euro, but establishing it as a parallel currency alongside the national currency.
The solution to the Anglo-zionist nightmare that has been imposed on the world is to create a parallel currency to the US dollar. This can be done through a carefully negotiated Convention between China Russia Iran Venezuela South Africa Brazil Cuba and all other interested parties. Clearly, it will not immediately replace the US dollar. What it will do is to create significantly more competition on the world stage hence reducing the dictatorial powers of the Anglo-zionist.
A team of economic experts from the member countries to the Convention can work out the details. If it was done at Bretton Woods it can be done today. This would defang the Anglo-zionist vipers without a war.
And I propose that we call the new international currency “Liberty.” Imagine, member states selling gas and oil to China and receiving payment in Liberty! China selling manufactured products and services and receiving payment in Liberty!
The decision to import fuel from Iran when Lebanon is at the brink of economic collapse, has many results, not just limited to providing the Lebanese people with two vital necessities, ie. fuel oil and gasoline, but also various tactical and strategical dimensions, and also the imposition of an equation on the US and Israel which they cannot bear.
Since a few months ago Hezbollah has been making efforts to solve the strangulating fuel shortage crisis and the results of it, by turning to foreign friendly states, with Iran at the head of the list.
At first, the US embassy and their pawns mocked the idea, and in their short-sightedness, insisted on their fuel Monopoly through a strict siege, which has brought Lebanon to economic and financial collapse, and they did not believe that Hezbollah could break the oil siege of Lebanon.
Following the intensification of the fuel crisis, and the hoarding of fuel, public anger was aroused, and Hezbollah, witnessing this, made contact with Iran to start making the necessary arrangements to import fuel from this country. Hezbollah put forward this idea with Lebanon’s various parties and factions, and then entered the stage of completing the logistical requirements for importing oil from Iran.
Of course, Nasrallah stressed that the responsibility to import fuel belongs to the Lebanese state, and they ought to import fuel from anywhere they can, but in the current emergency situation, the process of importing fuel from Iran had been started.
Many conclusions can be drawn from the effects of Lebanon importing fuel from Iranian, in the tactical and strategic dimensions, and the domestic and external.
1. All across the spectrum in Lebanon, even among anti-Hezbollah circles, people are expressing satisfaction with the import of oil from Iran, looking at the proposition with the hope that it can resolve some of their problems.
2. Nasrallah, in the process of saving the Lebanese people from the fuel crisis, has once again demonstrated himself as a savior for all Lebanese, and a leader that will make efforts in all seriousness to solve his country’s problems. Also, it revealed the true faces of certain Lebanese politicians, who in their cooperation with the US siege, were a force for bringing about crisis, were exposed to all.
3. With the import of Iranian fuel, certain Western-backed companies, who with their hoarding have created an unfair pricing for their products, in spite of the Lebanese people’s struggles, will effectively lose their power to dictate prices.
4. Hezbollah not only broke the equation of imposed exclusive business with Western-approved countries, but has also created a new equation, whereby the Lebanese people can turn to the East, with Iran at the top of the list, to solve their economic crisis, and following that, Lebanon can act with more freedom in its trade and commerce, and slowly come out from under the US thumb.
5. This decision, in addition to showing the true face of the US embassy, and Washington’s pawns in Lebanon, such as Saad Hariri, the previous Prime Minister, and Samir Geagea, the President of the Lebanese Forces, who had started speaking against Iran and Hezbollah in order to attract US-Saudi attention, also showed the true faces of some Gulf Arab states that were complicit in the siege of Lebanon.
6. The breaking of the US siege through the gate of Iranian fuel imports, may open the door to Lebanon importing food, and medicine, and technology from Iran as well, the foundations of which were laid some time ago, to lessen the burden of the Lebanese people.
7. At a time when the Americans are witnessing regional and international defeats, which began in Yemen, and then extended to Iraq and Afghanistan as well, a new confrontation between Hezbollah and the US Embassy begins, and Washington’s pawns in Lebanon shall see that the US will only protect them as long as it suits its interests, and is otherwise not loyal to any of its allies.
8. After Nasrallah’s drawing the equation of the Iranian tankers equalling Lebanese territory, Hezbollah is now an active player in the international scene and in regional waters, and at a time when the Lebanese state has failed to solve this country’s fuel crisis, and Washington’s pawns together with the US Embassy work towards intensifying the siege of the Lebanese people, and this constitutes a great danger to the US and the Zionist regime.
1. In the strategic realm, importing oil from Iran means the breaking of the US siege of Lebanon, and notifies to the fact that the countries of the East can also break US sieges against nations, and take advantage of the new equations to do business with Lebanon. Other than Iran, countries such as China and Russia can now have an active role in the Lebanese economic field.
2. Also, importing oil from Iran brings down US credibility in two ways; first, it opens up new export markets for Iran, who after breaking of the Venezuelan siege, has now broken the Lebanese siege as well, and second, with the movement of Iranian ships toward Lebanon, Hezbollah has also broken the US siege of Iran.
3. Nasrallah, by warning the US and the Zionist regime about the Iranian tankers, has placed the responsibility for the tankers on the Lebanese people, which will help bring the two people closer together.
4. This action has imposed a new equation on the Zionist regime, so that they cannot even think about violating the Iranian tankers at sea, as they know that that will evoke a decisive response from Hezbollah, and this will turn the Lebanese fuel imports from Iran to a crisis for the Zionists which will be discussed in their security and political circles for months to come.
5. Hezbollah has placed Israel in a confused and complicated situation, such that if it violates the Iranian tankers, it will be met by decisive action from Hezbollah, as per Nasrallah’s equation, but more importantly, it will pit the Lebanese people squarely against Israel or anyone else who attempts to stop fuel imports to their country, after such a long and drawn out crisis. On the other hand, if Israel does not stop the ships, it will once again prove Israel’s weakness against the Resistance, which will once again demonstrate the power of Hezbollah, based on their deterrence equation, and both of these items have caused great concern among the Israeli political and security circles.
6. After the consolidation of land power by Hezbollah, now new points of strength become available to it in regional waters.
7. Seyed Hasan Nasrallah, who before this, had held the US Embassy in Lebanon responsible for the continued crisis in this country, in his speech for Ashura, divested the US Embassy of the title of “International Diplomacy”, which under the shadow of Nasrallah’s equation for kicking the US out of the region, is a real threat to this country, and at the same time, by pointing to the events in Afghanistan and the fact that the US is dropping support for its allies one by one and clearly values them very little, has labelled Washington’s pawns not opponents, but enemies of Lebanon.
All things considered, the import of Iranian fuel to Lebanon, whether by Hezbollah or by the Lebanese state, is a historic decision which will determine the fate of not just Lebanon, but the whole region, the moral and material results of which shall become evident shortly.
Edits (in bold) made by mod at request of author of comment.
Would you mind correcting a little typo or two for me?
“5. Hezbollah has placed Israel in a confused and complicated situation, such that if it violates the Iranian tankers, it will be by decisive action from..”
..should be “will be met by decisive action..”
“2. Also, importing oil from Iran brings down US credibility in two ways; first, it opens up new export markets for Iran, who after breaking of the Venezuelan siege, how now broken the..”
..should read “has now broken…”
Thanks greatly for this candid analysis, many have underrated Iran but I wonder what they’ll be thinking now that Iran non state ally is successfully deterring the US and Israel.
In the speech Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah gave today he Sayyed Nasrallah:
“Our country shall become a prosperous and productive one, and if our government won’t dare to bring any companies to extract the oil off the Lebanese shores, we are ready to bring Iranian companies to do the job.”
A bit of a gambit, but, if The Taliban can run Afghanistan, surely Hizbollah can run….winning hearts and minds.
They can’t make it worse than the US.
@ Anonymous. I believe that your analysis is spot on. Thanks for that. IMO the Empire of Chaos, the US, and its Coalition of Barbarians, the US and Nato, are on the back foot. The Eurasian Integration and the BRI will move forward and the countries in this region will be sovereign and they will be prosperous. For the Oligarchs of The Rules Based Order; they’re having a nasty nervous breakdown right about now.
The Great YINON Plan was a pipedream for the Anglo-Zionist Satanic Cult. Rather than a Greater Israel, if they can escape with their lives intact from the Palestinian occupied Land, then US-Europe should be prepared for boatloads of Israeli refugees.