Iran Hopeful of Broader Lebanon Ties

Iran Hopeful of Broader Lebanon TiesIran Hopeful of Broader Lebanon Ties

Iran’s Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Fatah-Ali looks forward to a jump in Tehran-Beirut relations.

In an interview with Fars News Agency, Fatah-Ali added obstacles have prevented expansion of relations, such as the sanctions imposed on Iran and internal problems of Lebanon.

“Another obstacle is mutual unawareness of the potential opportunities for cooperation, to overcome which a group of Lebanese businessmen plan to visit Iran soon,” he said.

Fatah-Ali said that with the removal of sanctions and formulation of banking mechanisms, a significant expansion of ties is expected.

The ambassador said that diversity of religious and political interests in Lebanon has made it a unique country in which various ethnic groups and clans coexist, although differences over political issues have prevented them from selecting a president in the past 18 months.

Since the six-year term of former president Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014, Lebanese lawmakers have failed to elect a successor in 31 consecutive sessions.  In view of the turbulent situation in the region and the risk of its spread to Lebanon, the diplomat said Lebanese factions should find a solution for the issue.

Asked to comment on media claims about Iran’s role in solving the problem of choosing the next president, Fatah-Ali said these claims are being made by those who do not want the crisis to be solved.

“We have always said that the conflict over selecting the next president is an internal issue that Lebanese groups should work together to overcome,” he said.