Tehran ready to build 2 power plants in cash-strapped Lebanon, Iranian foreign minister pledges



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Tehran is poised to build two power plants in Lebanon, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said, as the Islamic Republic extends further support to economically hard-hit Beirut.

Speaking after a meeting with Lebanese officials on Thursday, Amir-Abdollahian revealed that Iran is ready to construct two power stations, one in the capital city of Beirut and another in the south of the country, over a period of 18 months.

He also said that Tehran stands prepared to help rebuild the Port of Beirut, should its Lebanese counterparts ask, after the August 2020 explosion which killed more than 200 people, wounded around 7,500, and caused extensive damage.

Re-affirming Iran’s commitment to Lebanon, Amir-Abdollahian said it would stand by the Middle Eastern nation in all crises, and that the two states were agreed that “regional problems should be resolved within the region.”

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Last month, the energy company Electricite Du Liban warned that Lebanon was at high risk of being plunged into total darkness by the end of September, as it was down to its last remaining fuel supplies, with both reserves of its Grade A and Grade B fuel oil reaching a critical point.

Tehran has previously pledged to send more fuel to financially crippled Lebanon to help address its energy woes.

Iranian fuel imports by Hezbollah, however, have been criticized by many, including Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who said that these encroach on Lebanon’s sovereignty. Others have warned that shipments from heavily-sanctioned Tehran could also see Beirut hit with Western sanctions.

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Iraq, Iran’s neighbor, struck a deal with Lebanon in July, under which Beirut will receive one million tons of fuel oil annually from Baghdad in exchange for medical services and goods.

In the same month, two of the Lebanon’s main power plants, which provide around 40% of the nation’s electricity, shut down as foreign banks had not yet signed off transactions allowing Electricite Du Liban to unload two fuel imports.

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