TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement has warned Israel against extracting Beirut’s natural resources in the Karish gas field located off Lebanon’s waters, saying that all options are on the table.
In a televised address, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that “Lebanon is entering a new era with regards to its water, oil, and gas” as well as “the wealth in [the country’s] maritime borders,” emphasizing “the need for this matter to turn into a cause of national concern.”
He says this new stage the country is facing has been put on full display over the past days, following the arrival of a Greek ship in the Karish gas field and the “installation of a rig by a Greek-British company in the Karish gas field” to begin the process of extracting oil and gas for the Israeli regime.
The Hezbollah chief warned the theft of Lebanon’s gas and oil wealth and dignity represents an attack on the country.
Analysts say Hezbollah does not want to face any accusations that it is acting above the country’s government and army, but it has been called on the state to declare and make its on the matter, not only public in the international arena but also explain what measures it will take to protect the country’s interests.
As has been the case in the past: where the Lebanese state fails to protect the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and dignity, the movement does not shy away from taking action to fill the void and bring back Lebanon’s sovereignty.
The “contested” maritime area, where the oil and gas are located and which Lebanon argues belongs to Beirut is in waters closer to Lebanon than the Israeli regime in the occupied Palestinian territories. In essence parts of the natural resources either belong to Lebanon or the Palestinians, not the Israeli military occupying Palestinian land.
There is no chance for the Palestinians to mediate with Lebanon if there are any oil and gas that belongs to them, as they live under Israeli apartheid, but many experts agree the Israeli occupation regime is trying to take what belongs in Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone.
Talks via mediators have been taking place between the Lebanese government and the Israeli regime.
Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that the wealth in Lebanese waters is enormous and is “the property of all the Lebanese people and it is the last hope that remains to save Lebanon from collapse.”
Nasrallah pointed out that “in the region, only Syria and Lebanon are prohibited from exploring for their oil and gas because of sanctions.”
He added, “the danger of attacking the maritime borders is to strip a very large area of Lebanon, from it’s wealth,” while the second danger is that “Lebanon is prohibited from extracting its oil, and this is a problem that all Lebanese must consider a solution to.”
Nasrallah stressed that “the third danger is [the regime] emptying Lebanon’s gas fields that extend to our country,” noting that in this case “the issue of time becomes a very important element; that is, when the time comes and we are allowed to extract our gas, there is a possibility we will not find any.”
He warned that this is because Israel does not abide by any international laws or regulations, amid reports the regime’s forces have been sent to protect the Greek rigging platform.
He stressed that “the matter of water, oil and gas extraction is no less important than the matter of liberating the occupied border [from the occupied Palestinians territories] and it must initiate a motive and an incentive for everyone to bear responsibility.”
Sayyed Nasrallah declared “we are going to confront the risks related to the oil wealth,” noting “that time is not on Lebanon’s side.”
Sayyed Nasrallah added that “the direct goal should be to prevent the enemy from extracting oil and gas from Karish, and to stop the activity that it will or may have started,” stressing that “with every day that passes, this delay, results in Lebanon and it’s people losing their potential economic growth.”
Nasrallah warned that “the Karish area is a red line, and therefore anything that is extracted from it is contested,” explaining that “it is not important where the ship stopped and where the drilling and extraction are taking place, but the danger, in this case, is that the enemy will start extracting [wherever it likes], while Lebanon is forbidden to do so even in its own maritime areas [something] which is not even related to the conflict with the Israeli enemy.”
He stressed that “Lebanon has, in this confrontation, the right, the motive, the utmost need, and strength, under the title of the army and the resistance,” noting that “the resistance definitely has the ability, financially, militarily and security-wise to prevent the enemy from extracting oil and gas from the Karish area.”
Nasrallah pointed out that not all of the [Israeli] enemy’s moves can protect their floating rig and the extraction of gas from the Karish oil field. “The repercussions of any blunder that the Israeli occupation commits will not only be strategic; they will be existential. Whatever Israel loses in any war they are threatening would far exceed what Lebanon might lose.”
Nasrallah added, “the companies that own the drilling ship must withdraw it quickly, and they must bear the responsibility for the material and human damage that will be inflicted on it,” and stressed that “we have the right to do what is necessary to collect the information required for any option we can resort to.”
Reports strongly suggest the Greek shipping firm is being aided or working side-by-side with a company from the United Kingdom.
The Hezbollah chief stated that the resistance “will be following the situation, hour by hour, and day by day, and it is our right to collect the information required in order to take any decision,” announcing the party’s formation of “a file on everything related to gas, oil, and wealth in the sea and land, border demarcation and Shebaa Farms.”
Nasrallah noted that an MP allied to Hezbollah has been tasked with monitoring the situation. He also stated that “the U.S. and Israeli strategy is to push Lebanon into starvation”
According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “what is required is the official and popular stance that is united with those in power in Lebanon,” stressing that “we will certainly win this battle.”
This comes after the Greek-British ship reportedly installed an exploration platform in the Karich field and reportedly announced that it would start extracting gas within three months.
Lebanon has also submitted a letter to the UN that confirmed its adherence to its marine rights and wealth, and said that the Karish field is located within the “disputed area.”
Earlier, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General, Sheikh Naim Qassem, asserted that the issue of border demarcation “requires a decisive decision and stance from the Lebanese state,” and “it is necessary to answer the following question: Does the ship operate in a disputed area, or not?”
Qassem said: “We do not give a deadline to the Lebanese state. The Lebanese state is above all [of us], and it determines its course, and we are under the state’s roof in such decisions, but we encourage it to hurry.”