0743 GMT November 29, 2020
Iran has always pursued the policy of cooperating with Lebanon as an important strategy, said an MP.
The Islamic Republic is keen on helping Lebanon achieve peace and stability, added Abbas Moqtadaei, the deputy chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily.
On recent developments in Lebanon and the formation of the country’s new government, he added Iran expects decisions by Lebanese rulers and political management to contribute to international peace and security and prevent foreign interference in the region.
The lawmaker added Iran is ready to cooperate with Lebanon in line with these goals.
Lebanon is mired in the country’s worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history.
The government under former Lebanese prime minister Hassan Diab, who had taken over the position in January 2020 after the resignation of former PM Saad Hariri, stepped down in the aftermath of the devastating explosion at a port in Beirut in early August that killed at least 188 people and wounded thousands.
The blast came amid public anger over the ruling elite’s mismanagement of an economic crisis. The Lebanese pound continued to plummet against the US dollar, losing more than 60 percent of its value at the time while sources of foreign currency had dried up.
Observers say American sanctions on Lebanon have deteriorated its already struggling economy.
Moqtadaei said, “Of course, we pursue a principled policy in the region and that is not to interfere in countries’ internal affairs. We seek to ensure that all regional countries possessing the required capabilities in various fields undertake the processes of maintaining peace and guaranteeing security inside and outside their borders.”
He added all regional countries must help each other minimize foreign interference in this sensitive region.
Following the explosion, France has sought to interfere in Lebanon’s internal affairs, which has sparked outrage among the Lebanese people.
French President Emmanuel Macron has visited Lebanon twice since the Beirut blast. During the trips, he called for a “new political pact” among Lebanese political factions and proposed a roadmap to authorities to unlock billions of dollars in funds from the international community.
In a meeting with President Michel Aoun, Macron threatened Lebanese leaders with sanctions if they did not submit to reforms and a “political change,” Lebanon’s Arabic-language Al-Mayadeen television news network reported.
The MP stressed that Iran is interested in seeing the immediate resolution of Lebanon’s internal problems in a way that is in the interest of its people and government.
Like other countries, Iran carefully follows Lebanon’s internal developments and issues, he said, adding the Axis of Resistance, a political alliance between Iran, Syria and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, has certain sensitivities over Lebanon.
Shifting to Hezbollah resistance movement, Moqtadaei said Hezbollah is of special importance to Iran as a group in Lebanon which is influential both domestically and internationally.
He described as effective and influential Hezbollah’s role in restoring tranquility and calmness to the overall atmosphere in Lebanon and managing the country’s social, political, and even cultural and economic affairs.
Commenting on the outcome of the US November 3 presidential race, the MP said the country’s domestic issues and the result of its presidential election are not important to Iran as Washington’s approach toward Tehran has always been a hostile one and indicative of the White House’s intention to confront the fundamental values of the Islamic Republic.
Following the election, democratic candidate Joe Biden was projected as the winner by the American media on November 7. This comes as the outgoing president, Donald Trump, has not yet conceded to his rival.
Trump has alleged that widespread voter fraud took place in the election. His lawyers have filed lawsuits asking judges in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania to invalidate late-arriving mail-in ballots.
Moqtadaei noted that, nevertheless, Iran is closely monitoring US issues and hopes that unlike Trump’s administration, the new government would not sacrifice the country’s interests for its partisan purposes and gains.
He stressed that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been known as a regional power and adopted stances that have inspired other states.
“Iran has always pursued a policy of preserving its independence and non-alignment with superpowers, and sees it as an aspiration.”
He added, however, despite being an independent, powerful and authoritative country, Iran never interferes with other countries’ internal affairs.
“But the reality is that, today, even countries like the US, with claims of being global superpowers, cannot turn a blind eye to the role and position of the Islamic Republic in the region and international issues.”
He added in their recent stomp speeches during their election campaigns, US presidential candidates and their parties always raised the issue of Iran and its stances on domestic, regional and global problems as important topics.
Moqtadaei said, at present, the Islamic Republic is in a situation where it does not intend to interfere in US internal affairs, as it attaches no importance to them, but the Americans cannot ignore Iran’s prominent role in the region, as Tehran’s powerful presence has prevented Washington from achieving its goal of gaining permanent and growing dominance in West and Southwest Asia.