Iranian FM Zarif will travel to Beirut to meet Lebanese officials: Report

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, shakes hands with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, at the presidential palace, in Baabda east Beirut on Feb. 11, 2019. (File photo: AP)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will travel to Beirut on Friday and meet with Lebanese officials following the Lebanese capital’s massive August 4 explosion, Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen TV reported.

Zarif will meet with his Lebanese counterpart in Lebanon’s caretaker government, al-Mayadeen said.

Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency also reported the same news.

On August 4, over 170 people were killed and more than 6,000 others were injured in Beirut when a warehouse storing nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded after catching on fire.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday that all concerned parties should refrain from external interference in Lebanon, the Elysee office said.

Macron also told Rouhani that parties should support the formation of a new government in Lebanon, it said.

An Iranian official claimed last week that Macron’s statements during his visit to Lebanon in the wake of the deadly Beirut explosion are an “interference” in Lebanese internal affairs.

“Macron’s speech is an interference in Lebanese internal affairs, increasing the suffering of Lebanon’s people. Macron must apologize to the Lebanese nation,” said Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, a powerful state body and a former the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

“Instead of focusing all of his attention on finding out what led to the explosion, Macron is pushing for political change and an explosion of the stability in Lebanon,” Rezaei added.

Macron arrived in Lebanon on Thursday and visited sites of the wreckage caused by the blast where he was swarmed by Lebanese people asking for his help and demanding that whatever aid France sends not be given to the government for fear of it being stolen by corrupt officials.

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Last Update: Thursday, 13 August 2020 KSA 15:37 - GMT 12:37
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