Iran Lebanon flags.
(photo credit: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)
Lebanon’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a memorandum of understanding with Iran to help Beirut pursue oil and gas oil exploration, a Lebanese government source told the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper.
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“The cabinet approved a [memorandum] between the Lebanese and Iranian energy ministries,” Information Minister Walid Daouq told reporters.
Lebanon’s cabinet is dominated by members of Hezbollah’s March 8 coalition. The Islamist movement’s Al-Manar satellite channel reported the agreement to be worth $50 million.
Lebanon has threatened to complain to the UN over the recent maritime border demarcation between Israel and Cyprus
, which allows the two countries to exploit natural resources within their respective areas of sovereignty.
In signing the agreement, however, Lebanon may be violating UN Security Council sanctions against the Islamic Republic and could incur a condemnation from the world body, the Ya Libnan website reported.
Meanwhile, an Iranian parliamentary delegation toured Lebanon’s border
with Israel, the Daily Star
reported, including a stop at the now-closed
Fatima Gate between the neighboring states.
The five-member delegation reportedly visited the gate – a border
crossing during Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon that closed in
2000 – shortly after Israeli troops conducted repair work on the border
fence. The Iranians then reportedly drove to Khiam, a former Israeli
detention center in southern Lebanon.
Air strikes in the 2006 war severely damaged the former prison, which
has since become a popular Hezbollah-run museum displaying military
vehicles captured during the conflict.
“During the morning tour, the delegation inspected a number of towns in
southern Lebanon as well as roads that Iran helped build following the
2006 war,” the newspaper reported. “Iran has carried out between 40 and
50 projects across southern Lebanon, including the establishment of new
roads and mosques.”