Tehran Renews Military Aid Offer to Lebanon

Tehran Renews Military Aid Offer to Lebanon

A senior lawmaker said Iran will provide the Lebanese Army with military support, if the Arab country were to make a request.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is still ready to deliver arms to the heroic army of Lebanon for using against the Israeli regime and terrorists," IRNA quoted Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, as telling reporters.  
Boroujerdi made the statement in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Monday, heading a parliamentary delegation that has embarked on a two-country, four-day tour of Lebanon and Syria.
The Lebanese Army is fighting militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which recently renamed itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, and the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group near the country's northeastern border with Syria.
Iran and Lebanon had discussed the details of Iran's offer for military assistance in a 2014 meeting between Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Lebanese Defense Minister Samir Moqbel in Tehran. But the Lebanese government has not yet given its final approval.
  Anti-Iran Claims Rejected
Boroujerdi rejected as "baseless" claims that Iran is creating obstacles to prevent the settlement of Lebanon's presidential crisis.
"Those who make baseless claims against Iran are well aware that we have never tried to block any plan to solve political differences and problems in Lebanon," he said. "In fact, Iran has done its best to help its Lebanese brothers come up with a settlement."
Lebanon has been struggling to form a government for nearly two years. Lawmakers from a number of political parties have prevented the election by boycotting parliamentary sessions.
The power vacuum, which has left the Cabinet and parliament paralyzed, is considered the longest since 1990, which marked the end of Lebanon's civil war. Under Lebanon's power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shia Muslim.
During its two-day stay in Beirut, the delegation was to discuss the latest regional developments and the fight against terrorism with high-ranking Lebanese officials, including Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berry.  
Later, the lawmakers were to depart for Damascus, where they will meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Parliament Speaker Hadiyeh al-Abbas, Prime Minister Imad Khamis and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem today and tomorrow.


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