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Iran Press TV

Iran raps West's bid to exploit Lebanon 'pain for political goals'

Iran Press TV

Friday, 14 August 2020 10:39 AM

Iran's foreign minister says only the Lebanese people and their representatives can decide the country's future following the massive blast in Beirut that killed 172 people and prompted the government to resign.

Mohammed Javad Zarif was speaking after senior US and French officials met President Michel Aoun in a flurry of apparent Western meddling in Lebanon's internal affairs.

"In our view it is not humane to exploit the pain and suffering of the people for political goals," Zarif told a joint televised news conference with Lebanon's caretaker foreign minister.

"We believe that the government and the people of Lebanon should decide on the future of Lebanon."

Following the blast, Western states have linked any financial assistance to "reform" of the Lebanese state, which has defaulted on its huge sovereign debts.

France's navy helicopter carrier Tonnerre has docked at the wrecked port, where Lebanese authorities say more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored for years without safety measures.

Iran ready to help rebuild Lebanon

Zarif said Tehran and private Iranian companies were ready to help Lebanon with reconstruction and rehabilitating the country's electricity sector.

As Lebanon marks the anniversary of its victory against Israel in the 33-day war in 2006, Iran also vowed to continue its support for the Lebanese nation and government, stressing that the Arab country will overcome the current crisis through synergy.

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran congratulated the Lebanese nation, government, army, and resistance, especially the secretary-general of Hezbollah, on the 14th anniversary of Lebanon's victory in its 33-day war against the Israeli aggressors in 2006, which "imposed a historic defeat on the occupying regime."

The statement said that the Lebanese nation will always remember the sweet taste of the victory, and "will not allow enemies to play with the country's security, independence, and sovereignty."

"The Lebanese nation will overcome the current crisis through unity and synergy, and that is a great lesson for all regional governments and nations," it added.

The statement said the Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood by the Lebanese nation and government, and will stand by them forever.

It further pointed to Foreign Minister Zarif's visit to Beirut on the anniversary of the great epic, and said the trip is aimed at promoting constructive relations between Iran and Lebanon as two friendly and brotherly countries and is in line with Tehran's all-out support for the government, nation, army, and resistance of Lebanon.

Zarif has traveled to Lebanon to address the developments that have followed the recent hugely deadly explosion in the capital Beirut and Iran's ongoing provision of assistance to the disaster-hit nation.

August 14 marks the fourteenth anniversary of the end of Israel's 33-day war on Lebanon.

The war that began with Israeli airstrikes against Lebanese cities in July 2006, resulted in the demolition of vital infrastructure and the death of over 1,000 innocent people.

About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, lost their lives during the 33-day war waged by Israel against Lebanon.

According to the 629-page Winograd Report by the Israeli regime, Hezbollah fighters involved in defending Lebanon against the Israeli war defeated the enemy and Tel Aviv was compelled to withdraw without having achieved any of its objectives.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the 2006 war, calls on Israel to respect Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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