Iran’s ambassador to Libya has returned to the war-torn country in hopes of “deepening bilateral cooperation,” the official IRNA news agency reported Thursday citing a foreign ministry statement.
“Our country’s ambassador, Ali Asghar Naseri ... has returned to Tripoli and resumed his activities under the new political climate,” the foreign ministry statement said.
It added that Tehran “hopes the ambassador’s presence and expansion of the Iranian embassy’s activities in the country would accelerate the process of development and deepening bilateral cooperation.”
Naseri was “recalled to Tehran in the early days of the uprising in protest at the savage killing of people by the former Libyan regime,” it said.
The decision comes two weeks after Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced Tehran would “soon” send back its envoy to Tripoli.
Since the Libyan uprising erupted in mid-February, Iran has adopted a dual approach − criticizing the Qaddafi regime for its violent assaults on the rebels while at the same time condemning NATO’s military intervention.
While Iran has yet to officially recognize the National Transitional Council of the new Libyan leaders, Salehi has recently invited NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil to visit Iran “at an opportune time.”
Earlier in August Iran said it had “discreetly” provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli on Aug. 21.
Relations between Shiite majority Iran and Muammar Qaddafi’s regime were soured by the disappearance in Libya in 1978 of the Iranian-born Imam Moussa Sadr, who is considered a spiritual leader of Lebanon’s Shiites.