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Radio Farda

Pundits In Iran Concerned Over Beirut Blast Repercussions

Radio Farda August 05, 2020

Tehran turns off the lights of its highest monument, the Milad Tower, Wednesday night August 5 in solidarity with Lebanon, as analysts and politicians in Tehran have reacted to the Tuesday's massive blast in Beirut.

At the same, Iran Air is to send two airplanes to Beirut to repatriate visiting Iranians. Reports from Beirut say that the international airport in Beirut has already issued the permits for the airplanes to land.

In an interview published on the website of IRGC-linked Tasnim news agency, hardliner analyst Saadollah Zarei, close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's office, said that the blast in Beirut will have political repercussions.

He said the explosion took place in the Sunni dominated economic hub of Beirut, adding that there could be two explanations for the blast: First, it could be the outcome of a conspiracy to further weaken the Lebanese government. Second, it can be the result of negligence that turned an ordinary fire to an extraordinary explosion.

He said the development, which is unprecedented during the past 80 years, will certainly have political repercussions, but did not say what will its implications be.

On the other hand, reformist analyst Ahmad Zeidabadi wrote in a commentary on Fararu news website that: "The blast in Beirut will intensify sectarian conflicts particularly in the aftermath of the announcement of the verdict of the court that investigated the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri."

Zeidabadi said that although Lebanon has left behind several wars in the past half-century, still such a catastrophe is quite unprecedented in that country. He likened the blast to the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and opined that many Lebanese people will not accept what happened as an accident. Some politicians have even demanded an international investigation, he said.

Calling Lebanon a victim of some sort of a regional system of relations in the Middle East, Zeidabadi said that the resulting disorder has prevented Lebanon from having a powerful government. Zeidabadi noted that the blast took place while the government is facing a major economic crisis.

He also blamed the sectarian nature of the society and politics in Lebanon for various ethnic groups' dependency on foreign countries, adding that this has turned Lebanon into the scene of score-settling between various groups. He said the impact of the blast at the Beirut harbor area on the fate of the Diab administration in Beirut is too obvious.

To be on the optimistic side, Zeidabadi said perhaps an opportunity could arise from the ruins of Beirut and that is the understanding that sectarian conflicts will lead to nowhere and various groups need to come to an agreement over a national development plan.

Major General Hossein Salami, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard, IRGC, sent a condolence message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and promised that the IRGC is prepared to extend relief aid to Lebanon.

The country's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted in English and Arabic on Tuesday, saying in English that "Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon. As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary."

In his tweet in Arabic he quoted part of a song in praise of Beirut: "Hello Beirut from the bottom of my heart," before repeating what he had said in English.

On Wednesday, Zarif had a phone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart Charbel Wehbe and later said in a tweet that he has "reiterated Iran's strong support and steadfast solidarity with the people of Lebanon". He added that Iran is sending medicine and a field hospital to assist with disaster relief."

Meanwhile, President Hassan Rouhani sent a message to Lebanon's President Michel Aoun on Wednesday and said at the cabinet meeting that he has ordered the Iranian Red Crescent Society to take quick measures to send aid to Lebanon.

In the meantime, the official Iranian news agency IRNA wrote in a commentary on Wednesday that the blast in Beirut has led to a rise in the price of oil in the international market. But the connection between the two events is more of a speculation. Simply, markets in Asia and in The U.S. were higher on Wednesday as governments pump money into industrial economies.

Source: https://en.radiofarda.com/a/pundits-in -iran-concerned-over-beirut-blast -repercussions-/30768026.html

Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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