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Lebanon’s Cabinet has approved a key Memorandum of Understanding between Lebanon's Energy and Water Resources Ministry and Iran's Petroleum Ministry for closer cooperation in the field of energy.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in Lebanon’s Energy and Water Resources Ministry said off the record that the recent Iranian-Lebanese MOU allows Iran to assist Lebanon in the fields of gas and oil exploration, while the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar television station said that the energy MOU was worth $50 million, The Daily Star reported.
In discussing Lebanon’s ongoing dispute with Israel over offshore Mediterranean energy reserves Lebanon’s Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri told MPs that Lebanon would defend all of its rights and would not abandon any of its water or gas resources.
The dispute has recently been heating up, as on 10 July Israel's Cabinet approved a map of its proposed maritime borders, which Lebanon’s government replied was "aggression" against its offshore Mediterranean oil and gas rights. Berri accordingly appointed Beirut MP Mohammad Qabbani, the chairman of Parliament's Public Works, Transport, Energy, and Water committee, to cooperate with concerned ministries to come up with a draft law to delineate Lebanon's maritime borders in preparation for contesting Israeli claims.
Qabbani's committee stated that Lebanon might file a complaint against Israel to the U.N. Security Council after Israel unilaterally proposed a bilateral maritime border with Lebanon that its government believes illegally incorporates 250 square miles of waters claimed by Lebanon.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com