Zarif: Warships on Lebanon Coast Threat to Lebanese People, Resistance
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday warned that the presence of foreign warships on Lebanon’s coast represents “a threat to the Lebanese people and its resistance.”
“The presence of foreign warships on Lebanon’s coast is not normal and it is a threat to the Lebanese people and its resistance,” Zarif, who is on a visit to Lebanon, told al-Mayadeen television in response to a question about the issue.
A French warship and a British warship have recently docked in Lebanon as part of the aid and rescue efforts.
“The deployment of HMS Enterprise complements an immediate package of military and civilian support. As part of the strong relationship between both our armies, the UK has offered enhanced support to the Lebanese Armed Forces, who are central to the Government of Lebanon’s response, including tailored medical help, strategic air transport assistance, and engineering and communications support,” Lt. Gen. Sir John Lorimer, the UK Defense Senior Adviser Middle East and North Africa, said during a visit to Beirut on Monday.
And on Friday, the Lebanese Army said French helicopter carrier PHA Tonnerre had docked at Beirut’s port, carrying a French army engineering unit, engineering vehicles and necessary equipment to remove debris from Beirut port. It was also carrying medical and food aid, construction material and two vehicles donated to the Lebanese Civil Defense, the army said.
Separately, Zarif told al-Mayadeen that Iran does not endorse any specific candidate to lead the new Lebanese government.
“We will cooperate with any nominee that the Lebanese would agree on,” he said.
“We will choose what the Lebanese will choose, Lebanon’s security is our security and we will cooperate with any government selected by the Lebanese people,” Zarif added.
“I reassured Lebanese officials that Iran is ready to help and not to impose anything on Lebanon,” he went on to say.
And calling on the international community to “acknowledge Lebanon’s independence and stay away from its internal affairs,” Zarif said “if the Lebanese people allow those who don’t want Lebanon’s welfare to sow discord, fears will arise about Lebanon’s future.”