Lebanon to boycott Warsaw conference seen as hostile to Iran

Lester Mason
February 12, 2019

The minister also said that he "reminded" the Iranian visitor of the case of Lebanese citizen and US green card holder Nizar Zakka, who has been detained in Tehran since 2015 on espionage charges and was sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison.

Komati's remarks came during a press conference following his meeting with national political parties and Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon.

The visit comes just a few days after the formation of the new Lebanese government.

Iran has also offered to help improve Lebanon's crumbling power sector. "Why should Lebanon be afraid to cooperate with Iran?" Nasrallah asked during a speech marking the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution this week.

The United States, which lists Hezbollah as a terrorist group, says its military aid to Lebanon aims to strengthen the army as "the sole" military force defending the country and to counter threats from neighbouring Syria.

Lebanon's Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri formed a government late last month, after a nine-month vacuum that exacerbated the country's economic woes.

Lebanon's foreign minister urged Syria on Monday to offer guarantees on property rights and military service to encourage Syrian refugees to return home.

Lebanon is technically at war with Israel, and Lebanese officials avoid conferences where Israelis are present.

Mahmoud Qomati, a Hezbollah member and state minister for parliamentary affairs, said later that his group appreciates there is worldwide pressure on Lebanon but that shouldn't stand in the way of accepting Iran's offer to help the country's struggling economy.

As for Lebanese Iranian cooperation, Zarif said that "There is no worldwide law that prevents Iran and Lebanon from cooperating; even resolution 2231 requires all countries to normalize their economic relations with Iran".

In his comments, Zarif congratulated Lebanese politicians and said Iran is ready to support the government in any way possible.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the Islamic republic will maintain supports for Palestine's "resistance" groups, official IRNA news agency reported.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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