Oil Firms in Beirut Ordered To Stop Fueling Iran Airlines
BEIRUT (Dispatches) - International oil companies operating at Beirut’s airport have been warned against fueling airlines that are affected by the recent U.S. sanctions against Iran, Lebanese officials told The Daily Star Friday.
Asked if Iranian airlines would be prohibited from stopping at the airport, caretaker Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos, said, “To stop? No. To refuel? By sanctions, yes.”
A senior airport official said international oil companies were notified after Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran Monday to force Tehran to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear agreement and to end what it called the sponsoring and financing of terrorist activity.
These measures mean that bodies dealing with the sanctioned Iranian entities would be penalized.
The airport official said “some” of the oil providers were informed by internal company decisions, but Fenianos confirmed that none of the providers would be allowed to refuel the sanctioned carriers. The decision has been made “for sure by their companies,” not by the Lebanese government, Fenianos added.
Local media reports identified the oil companies that were notified as Liquigaz, Coral Oil, Total and W-HElfmed. The Daily Star could not independently confirm which companies were affected.
According to the airport official, this step is “very small [compared] to what may come.” The source described the coming sanctions as possibly having an effect on “more than just oil” refueling at the airport.
The airport’s Civil Aviation Authority has not yet been officially notified of the new sanctions and will withhold taking a stance until it is. “This needs to be studied and a decision needs to make on a national level in coordination with the government,” the airport official said. Fenianos confirmed that the government “didn’t make [its] decision yet” on whether or not to ensure the implementation of the new sanctions.
The minister said the government is “studying all the circumstances. It’s not easy at all, we have so many points to discuss and lots of opinions.”
However, the airport source denied that airport authorities were ordered to refuse requests to refuel all Iranian planes. “Only the airlines on the sanctions list are the ones being cautioned against,” the airport source said.