Iran foreign minister says economic ties with Lebanon unfazed by US sanctions
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Iran and Lebanon are determined to enhance economic relations and the US sanctions regime will not impact that cooperation.
Amir-Abdollahian was meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Rashid Bouhabib in Beirut on Friday.
The Iranian minister placed a premium on improving economic cooperation regardless of the US sanctions.
"The US sanctions regime cannot hinder the economic relations between Iran and Lebanon as it has failed to impact Iran's cooperation with Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, the Central Asia and the Caucasus," Amir-Abdollahian said.
He said Iranian firms are ready to help Lebanon settle its electricity shortage problem. Tehran, he said, is ready to host a joint session of economic committees after the formation of the new Lebanese government.
Lebanon has been mired in an economic crisis that the World Bank has dubbed one of the worst in recent history, which comes amid crippling sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. The Lebanese pound has lost more than 95 percent of its value on the black market since 2019.
The Arab country has also been beset by a severe fuel crisis that has left many households and businesses struggling with recurrent power outages, while its economic meltdown since 2019 has slowed down imports of fuel for government plants.
Last year, Iran supplied much-needed fuel shipments to Lebanon via Syria after the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement asked for Iranian help to ease the energy shortage in the Arab country.
The Iranian foreign minister also stressed the need for continuous consultations between Tehran and Beirut given the developments in the region.
Amir-Abdollahian hailed the improvement of security and stability in Lebanon and noted that Tehran wished nothing but welfare and prosperity for Beirut.
“The election of the president and the formation of the new government of Lebanon will be an important step for Lebanon and the region," the top Iranian diplomat said.