Iran donated $40 million to Lebanon on Friday to fund a water dam construction in the northern city of Batroun, according to Lebanese media reports.
The estimated completion of the project is three years, the Daily Star reported. The villages surrounding Batroun and Tanourine would benefit from the dam, which will be built in collaboration with a Lebanese company.
Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil agreed with his Iranian counterpart Majid Namjoo on the donation on the construction to be supervised by the Iranian government.
Bassil added that Lebanon discussed the possibility of drawing electricity from Iran via Syrian high voltage lines.
The minister added that some Lebanese were unhappy with the dam initiative. He responded to the reluctant reaction on the electricity offer by saying many European companies have already made top offers to build a plant in Deir Ammar.
Negotiations are still underway, as the ministry awaits Cabinet approval on the initiative. Bassil pointed Prime Minister Najib Mikati is hesitant about the project due to the United Nations sanctions against Tehran.
“What the Lebanese government decides in this respect is what is important for us. The Lebanese Energy Ministry will decide at the end what area in Lebanon the dam should be built in,” Namjoo said.
The Iranian minister added that his government is willing to help Lebanon in oil and gas matters should its Cabinet request such assistance.