Skip to main content

Iran offers big promises to help rebuild Lebanese economy 

Meeting one Lebanese official after another, Iran's top diplomat announced substantial pledges for Lebanon's energy crisis, as foreign players are jostling each other for influence in the Arab country. 
Iran Lebanon

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abollahian promised "the construction of two power plants within a period of only 18 months" to help Lebanon overcome an electricity crisis, which has disrupted much of public life and is bringing the country to its knees.  

During a joint news conference with his Lebanese counterpart, Abdallah Bou-Habib, the Iranian minister declared that firms from his country were ready to reconstruct Beirut Port, which fell to almost a complete pile of ash following the August 2020 deadly explosion.

Amir-Abdollahian also met with Lebanon's President Michel Aoun, newly appointed Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Upon arrival in Beirut, he said Tehran "will not spare any effort" for the "brother nation" to overcome its hardships. The hard-line minister also spoke of "fresh proposals" to help Lebanon "break its economic siege," but did not elaborate further.

Iran has by and large maintained friendly ties with Lebanese administrations, but has also been accused of interfering in the country's domestic affairs through the Hezbollah movement. The armed Shiite group has also not shied away from declaring its ideological allegiance with and financial dependence upon the Islamic Republic. 

The movement — designated as a terrorist organization by the United States — has been at the receiving end of fuel shipments from Iran and destined for Lebanon in the past two months. The latest such shipment in convoys of tanker trucks departed from the Syrian border and was heading toward the Lebanese soil as the Iranian foreign minister was sitting down with Lebanese politicians. 

Hezbollah supporters have applauded the deliveries as a failure of American sanctions against Iran and Syria. Yet not everyone seems to have shared the same approach. The shipment in late September was lamented by Prime Minister Mikati as "violation of Lebanon's sovereignty." The sitting Lebanese government appeared to have been sidelined from the entire process.

The same sentiment was expressed by a group of Lebanese activists, who protested against the Iranian foreign minister ahead of his arrival. The visit, they argue, falls within "the Iranian project of influence in Lebanon."

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial