Shea Slams Those Seeking 'Blocking Third', Says Iranian Ships 'Not a Solution'
U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea on Friday criticized Lebanese parties seeking a so-called blocking one-third in the new government, as she said that importing fuel ships from Iran is “really not a solution.”
“Now is the time to build a government, not to block a government,” Shea said in an interview on al-Jadeed TV.
Noting that top U.S. officials “care deeply about Lebanon” and want to avoid a “true collapse” in the country, the ambassador lamented that to some Lebanese officials it is still “business as usual.”
“I don’t know if there is one party that is deserving the blame but I can tell you (that) there is a desperate need for a fully empowered government that is committed to and able to implement reforms, to stop the bleed, to begin to stabilize the economy,” Shea said.
Asked about those seeking a so-called “blocking third” share in the cabinet, the ambassador said “a blocking third would be inimical to that vision that (French) President (Emmanuel) Macron articulated” regarding the formation of a mission-driven government.
As for the possibility of Iranian ships unloading fuel at Beirut’s port, as Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has recently suggested, Shea said “that’s really not a solution.”
“The United States has stood by the people of Lebanon and we will continue to stand by the people of Lebanon, but what Iran is looking for is some kind of satellite state that they can exploit to pursue their agenda,” she added.
“There are other alternatives to provide fuel and electricity to the Lebanese people,” the ambassador went on to say, noting that eradicating corruption is one of the solutions.
“If we could root out corruption from your energy and electricity sectors, half of the problem will be dealt with right there,” Shea said.
“There are much better solutions than turning to Iran,” she added.