Rear View – Lebanon in review (13 June 2021)
8 June: Lebanon Could be Hit with Sanctions if Hezbollah Imports Fuel from Iran
In an act of defiance against the Lebanese Government and the US which could result in international sanctions against the country, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah insisted Lebanon should be “negotiating with Iran to buy gasoline and diesel if shortages persist.”
In a televised speech, Nasrallah announced that he was prepared to ship fuel from Iran right to the Beirut Port and dared the Lebanese government to stop him saying: “We will not accept that the humiliation continues,” and he challenged the government by stating “And let the Lebanese state prevent its entry to the Lebanese people.”
Nasrallah’s speech came after reports that the Iraqi government had agreed to double a previous promise to supply Lebanon with oil, from 500,000 to 1 million tons. Washington still has sanctions in place on Iran.
10 June: Protests Escalate as Currency Dives
People took to the streets in cities across Lebanon amid escalating protests as the country faces a collapse in its currency. Anger surged as the Lebanese pound tumbled to record lows, having lost 70% of its value since October when protests began.
In response, the government announced a series of measures intended to stabilise the value of the currency. The continued deterioration in living conditions in Lebanon is raising the frequency of protests across governorates
10 June: Beirut Firefighters Shut Up Shop Due to Shortages
The Beirut Brigade have sacrificed numerous members over the years, most recently the 10 martyrs who were killed in the August 4 Beirut explosion last year. Their demands are similar to the demands of all Lebanese people, who are facing compounding threats to their health, food, social, and overall security in a collapsing country.
11 June: Pharmacies and Gas Stations Shut Their Doors
Pharmacies around Lebanon shuttered their doors to protest the severe supply shortage, of medicines as motorists queued for hours outside petrol stations since the crack of dawn.
The two-day strike called by pharmacists over lack of supplies, including infant milk, as well as gasoline shortages were the latest signs of Lebanon’s economic and financial meltdown, which appears to be spinning out of control while the country’s leaders seem unable, or unwilling, to rein in the crises.
Lebanon is grappling with an unprecedented economic and financial crisis that has seen the local currency lose around 85% of its value since October 2019. Banks have clamped down on withdrawals and money transfers, locking people out of their savings amid soaring inflation.
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