FM: Tehran will not accept any geopolitical change in region
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Friday Iran plans to continue sending fuel products to Lebanon in the future and hopes a bilateral agreement can be struck for that purpose.
"At any point in time if the Lebanese government asks Iran formally within the context of their brotherly ties ... Iran is ready to send fuel products," Amir-Abdollahian told a news conference in Beirut at the end of his trip to Lebanon.
Amir-Abdollahian said he hoped that Lebanon would get a sanctions waiver in order to have more cooperation with Iran
The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has been coordinating Iranian fuel shipments for Lebanon since August as shortages spread amid an economic meltdown.
Iran sends the fuel oil shipments to the port of Baniyas in Syria and from there they are transported by truck to Lebanon.
The move in August to source fuel for Lebanon at a time when severe shortages were hindering daily life.
The Iranian foreign minister met Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and other Lebanese officials.
Nasrallah told Amir-Abdollahian that Iran has proven to be a “sincere ally” in spite of the difficult circumstances it is facing.
“Iran has proven that it is a sincere ally and a loyal friend that does not let its allies down no matter how difficult the situations are,” Nasrallah said, Press TV wrote.
He said there are high hopes that Lebanon will get out of the current crisis through the cooperation of all.
Amir-Abdollahian also reaffirmed Iran’s support for Lebanon, adding that Tehran stands with Beirut on every level.
Lebanon has been mired in a deep economic and financial crisis since late 2019. The crisis is the gravest threat to the country’s stability since the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.
The economic and financial crisis is mostly linked to the sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Lebanon as well as foreign meddling in the Arab nation’s domestic affairs.
Supporting development projects
Amir-Abdollahian, in his meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, said Iran is ready to play an active role in promoting Lebanon’s development plans, particularly in power plant projects, given the country’s technical and engineering capabilities,
Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s steadfast support for Lebanon and its readiness to provide Beirut with full support in the areas it requires, especially in the difficult economic conditions it is going through.
Aoun said the Lebanese people and officials regard Iran as a friendly country and commended the Islamic Republic’s unwavering support for his country.
The Lebanese president highlighted the significance of the ongoing negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying Beirut is pleased with Tehran’s close ties with regional states which would help promote peace in the region.
“Such dialogue can bring the views on the disputed issues closer,” Aoun said.
During his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Amir-Abdollahian congratulated him on forming the new Lebanese government and said the Islamic Republic, as always, will stand with the Lebanese people and is ready to assist the country, especially to overcome power outages and fuel shortages.
Mikati stressed that Lebanon welcomes any effort from brotherly and friendly countries and the international community, as long as it falls within the context of assisting Beirut in preserving the state.
“Lebanon is in dire need today, more than ever, to strengthen the confidence of the Lebanese in the state and its institutions, through normal relations among countries based on mutual respect and common interests, in a way that serves the aspirations of their people,” he said.
Mikati added that the best service that can be provided to Lebanon and the region is that the dialogue between the Arab countries and Iran yields full consensus on various issues.
Amir-Abdollahian also sat down with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri for issues of bilateral and regional significance.
At a press conference after the talks with Berri, Amir-Abdollahian said, “There was a mutual agreement about the need to strengthen bilateral ties in various ways.”
“I would like to assure you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will always stand with Lebanon and assist it in overcoming the various problems it is going through,” he said.
‘Zionists cannot have a good night’s sleep’
In another meeting in Lebanon, Amir-Abdollahian told representatives of Palestinian factions at the Iranian Embassy that Israelis cannot have a good night’s sleep because of the Palestinian resistance.
He said the fact that high walls are still being erected around the occupied territories “shows that the resistance is advancing with strength and that the Zionists cannot have a good night’s sleep”.
“We vociferously emphasized that we know only one country there and that country is called Palestine, whose permanent capital is Al-Quds,” he said.
“Do not doubt that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khamenei and the people of Iran will continue their strong support for the resistance and Palestine until the liberation of all the historical lands of Palestine and until the liberation of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the top diplomat added.
The Palestinian delegation also hailed the Iranian support for the resistance front against the Israeli occupation, especially given that some Arab countries have rushed into in normalizing ties with the Israeli regime.
Heading a delegation, Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Beirut on Thursday after wrapping up a trip to Russia.
‘Geopolitical change’ intolerable
In Moscow, Amir-Abdollahian ringed the alarm about Israel’s presence in the Caucasus, stressing Iran will not tolerate a geopolitical change in the region.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is deeply concerned by Israel’s presence in the Caucasus,” he said on Wednesday at a press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Iran “will not accept a map change in the region”.
He added that Iran expects Russia to be sensitive to any potential changes in the borders in the region and the presence of terrorists and movements of Israel that threaten regional peace and stability.
The remarks came in reaction to recent developments along Iran’s northwestern borders and the latest remarks by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Iran launched a drill, codenamed Conquerors of Khaybar, in the northwest of the country on Friday, in line with efforts to boost its defense and deterrent capabilities in the face of potential threats.
Aliyev criticized the drills, but Iran reiterated that it reserves the right, just like any other sovereign country, to hold military exercises inside its territory to test and maintain its preparedness.
Amir-Abdollahian said the Republic of Azerbaijan has held six maneuvers with some foreign parties, but Iran held only one exercise.