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Hezbollah chief: Iran has proven to be ‘sincere ally’ in difficult times

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (L) meets Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. (Photo by Hezbollah press office)

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has thanked Iran for helping Lebanon weather its economic crisis, saying the Islamic Republic has proven to be a “sincere ally” in difficult times. 

“Iran has proven that it is a sincere ally and a loyal friend that does not let its allies down no matter how difficult the situations are,” Nasrallah said during a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Amir-Abdollahian also reaffirmed Iran’s support for Lebanon, adding that Tehran stands with Beirut on every level.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed several issues, including the latest political developments in Lebanon and the region, according to a Friday statement by Hezbollah.

Lebanon has been mired in a deep economic and financial crisis since late 2019. The crisis is the gravest threat to the country’s stability since the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

The economic and financial crisis is mostly linked to the sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Lebanon as well as foreign meddling in the Arab nation’s domestic affairs.

In August, while the Arab country was suffering from crippling fuel shortages, Nasrallah announced the import of Iranian fuel.

The third tanker carrying Iranian fuel has already reached Syria to be transferred to neighboring Lebanon.

Iran has also expressed readiness to sell fuel directly to the Lebanese government.

US: Hezbollah playing public relations game

Despite its pressures on Lebanon, the United States has claimed it would help the Arab country if it rejected Iran’s help.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday that importing fuel “from a country subject to extensive sanctions like Iran is not very clearly a sustainable solution to Lebanon’s energy crisis.”

Addressing a press briefing, Price said the US supports efforts to find energy solutions that will address Lebanon’s acute energy and fuel shortages.

“This is, in our minds, Hezbollah playing a public relations game, not engaged in constructive problem solving,” he added.

Last month, energy ministers from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt came together in the Jordanian capital, Amman, where they agreed that Lebanon would import Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity via Syria.

The United States, with the intention of countering what it calls Iranian influence in Lebanon, also supported the agreement, with US Ambassador to Beirut Dorothy Shea announcing that some of what are known as the Caesar Act sanctions against Syria could be amended to deal with fuel transports.

Hezbollah has argued that it was Iran’s fuel shipments that pushed Washington to allow the import of Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity via Syria.

‘Zionists cannot have a good night’s sleep’

In another meeting in Lebanon, Amir-Abdollahian told representatives of Palestinian factions and groups at the Iranian embassy that the Zionists cannot have a good night’s sleep because of the Palestinian resistance.

He said the fact that high walls are still being erected around the occupied territories “shows that the resistance is advancing with strength and that the Zionists cannot have a good night’s sleep.”

Referring to his meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York last month, the Iranian foreign minister said he told the UN chief that the Palestinian issue is a vital issue and that Iran does not recognize the Zionist regime.

“Also today, in Beirut, we vociferously emphasized that we know only one country there and that country is called Palestine, whose permanent capital is Holy Quds,” he said.

“Do not doubt that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khamenei and the people of Iran will continue their strong support for the resistance and Palestine until the liberation of all the historical lands of Palestine and until the liberation of Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque,” the chief Iranian diplomat added.

The Palestinian delegation also hailed the Iranian support for the resistance front against the Israeli occupation, especially given that some Arab countries have rushed into normalizing ties with the Israeli regime.

The Iranian foreign minister arrived in Beirut on Thursday. He held meetings with Lebanon’s top officials, including the country’s president, prime minister, parliament speaker and foreign minister.

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