When a high-level delegation from Iran arrived in Beirut in early May 2012, energy cooperation was a key item on its agenda. But the Iranian visit was not the only one that grabbed attention on the Lebanese political scene at the time. It overlapped with a trip to the Lebanese capital by then US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.
Local media linked Feltman’s stay to sanctions on Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, in addition to developments in neighboring Syria, which was in the grip of widespread unrest. Against this backdrop, An-Nahar reported on the day of the Iranian delegation’s arrival that the Lebanese government was “treading cautiously with respect to the issue of signing agreements with Iran.” The Lebanese daily added that Feltman’s visit was a reminder of the “red lines,” referring to the limits of what Beirut could sign with Tehran. Ultimately, none of the Iranian energy proposals got off the drawing board.
Now, nearly a decade later, Hezbollah is amid a major energy crisis in Lebanon transporting Iranian oil products into the country via Syria, through unofficial channels. Meanwhile, Iran is still absent in the Lebanese energy sector...
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