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Hezbollah spent $10 mln on Iranian fuel for Lebanese, Nasrallah says

BEIRUT, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Friday the group had spent more than $10 million on free and subsidized fuel sourced from Iran for the Lebanese people since September.

In a televised address, Nasrallah said $2.6 million worth of fuel had been provided for free to Lebanese NGOs, municipalities, government hospitals and other organizations, while more than $7.5 million had been sold at subsidized rates.

He said the program would go on for one more month and then end, and that those living above 500 meters altitude would be prioritized as the cold winter months approach.

Hezbollah began importing Iranian fuel via Syria in September in a move the party said was aimed at addressing shortages in the country driven by its crushing economic crisis.

The fuel has been transported by convoys of trucks from Syria’s Banyas port to Lebanon in an effort to avoid potential U.S. sanctions on Lebanon for dealing with Iran.

Fuel shortages in Lebanon peaked over the summer but have eased after the government ended almost all subsidies, leading prices to skyrocket and consumption to drop.

Reporting by Timour Azhari and Laila Bassam Editing by William Maclean and Matthew Lewis

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