Naharnet

West Moves against Iran Offer to Equip Army

The military attaches of some Western embassies in Beirut have scrambled to inquire about Iran’s offer to equip the army with air defense systems, a media report said.

The offer is expected to become official when announced by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who started a visit to Lebanon on Sunday.

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Jalal Firouznia has already announced that Tehran is willing to “support the Lebanese Army the same as it supports the resistance.”

His remarks came a few days after Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced his readiness to mediate with Tehran to provide the army with air defense systems and any weapons it needs.

The statements prompted the Western military attaches to act, diplomatic sources told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

“These embassies, specifically the U.S. and the European embassies, have showed interest in exploring the issue, but Lebanon is yet to offer to answers seeing as it is not certain that the issue will be raised during Zarif’s visit to Beirut,” the sources added.

Lebanese ministerial sources meanwhile told the daily that “the inclination is to reject the grant, seeing as Iran is under international sanctions and this would pose unbearable repercussions on Lebanon.”

“This would also isolate Lebanon, seeing as the international community would then consider that Beirut is part of Tehran’s axis,” the sources added.


Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved. http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/256333