“The Islamic Republic of Iran will powerfully stand by its allies in the region and we will continue our support for the Lebanese independence, security and sovereignty,” Amir-Abdollahian told Iran’s state TV (IRIB) upon his arrival in Beirut on Thursday.
Referring to a social media campaign launched ahead of his visit in appreciation of Iran’s assistance to Lebanon in breaking the United States’ economic siege, Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran has even “better new offers” if requested by the Lebanese officials.
As for the recent energy sales to Lebanon, the Iranian FM voiced Tehran’s readiness to “continue on the previous path,” as long as Beirut keeps up the demand, and also lend a helping hand to the Arab nation in other fields.
“This trip is indicative of deep and friendly ties between the two countries, and we support Lebanon’s army, people, and resistance with a strong voice,” he said.
The US re-imposed its sanctions on Iran in 2018 after illegally leaving a historic nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and world countries.
It has been enforcing similar measures against Lebanon for more than a year to pressure the country over the influence wielded in its political and military sectors by Hezbollah. In the 2000s, the movement fought off two major wars on Lebanon that had been waged by the Israeli regime, Washington’s most treasured ally in the region, Press TV wrote.
The sanctions have taken a huge toll on the Lebanese economy, leading to an acute shortage of staples, including gasoline and diesel.
As the energy crisis escalated, Hezbollah intervened and began importing Iranian fuel to prevent Washington from further interfering with the Lebanese people’s livelihoods.
Lebanon’s media outlets last month reported entrance into the United States-sanctioned country of a fifth shipment carrying Iranian fuel.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s al-Manar television network quoted Amir-Abdollahian as saying that Iran would spare no efforts to help Lebanon if requested.
He said Iran was confident that Lebanon would be able to overcome all the hardships it is facing, just as the brotherly nation successfully went through all the past difficult stages.
The top Iranian diplomat also extended his congratulations to the Lebanese people on the formation of a new government in the Arab country, following a 13-month-long political stalemate.
Heading a delegation, Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Beirut on Thursday on a first visit to the country since his appointment, after wrapping up a trip to Russia. He is scheduled to hold talks with Lebanese
President Michel Aoun, parliament speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib.
He also plans to meet representatives of Palestinian factions and groups at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.