Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Lebanon Friday for key meetings with Hezbollah terror leader Hassan Nasrallah, and to meet other groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to local reports.
Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Lebanon on a short visit from Syria, the pro-Iran Al-Mayadeen media said. He had been in Syria to meet Syrian regime leader Bashir al-Assad.
In Syria, Iran has been encouraging the regime to do more to pressure the US to leave.
Nasrallah warns against any Israeli 'miscalculations'
Nasrallah warned Israel against any “miscalculations” in his meeting with Amir-Abdollahian. The meeting also included discussions of how Hezbollah and other Iran-backed proxies are at the peak of their power in Lebanon. The Iranian diplomat slammed Israel and other “enemies” for causing instability in Syria, according to Iranian pro-regime Tasnim News.
According to the reports in Lebanon, the Iranian met the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Beirut, in a closed meeting, “during which he affirmed Tehran's adherence to the strategy of supporting and resisting the Palestinian people and the issue of liberating the land [of Israel].”
“Amir-Abdollahian also held discussions with the Speaker of Lebanon's Parliament Nabih Berri,” Iran International reported.
Iran has several goals in Lebanon. It wants to end a crisis over the lack of a president in the country after feuding political parties did not choose a new president. Iran backs Hezbollah and other groups. Lebanon’s president by tradition is a Christian and some Christian politicians support Hezbollah, Iran and the Syrian regime. Others do not, creating a crisis.
Iran is fighting for influence and control in Lebanon
The Iranian diplomat said Iran is ready to help Lebanon economically.
"We renewed once again our readiness for economic cooperation, and the readiness of Iranian companies to solve the electricity problem in Lebanon,” he said. This means making Lebanon dependent on Iran. According to Al-Mayadeen the Iranian foreign minister also met the Lebanese foreign minister.
Iran is fighting for influence and control in Lebanon. The visit comes a day after we reported that the United States is exploring the possibility of resolving the long-standing border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, senior White House adviser Amos Hochstein said on Thursday at the end of a two-day visit to Lebanon.
According to the report on Thursday, the senior White House adviser said he visited southern Lebanon during his trip "to understand and learn more about what is needed to be able to potentially achieve an outcome."
Iran is also holding discussions in Lebanon about Saudi Arabia’s role. Saudi Arabia helped end the Lebanese civil war in 1989 and it has worked with leading Sunni families in Lebanon. However, Riyadh became non-plussed with Lebanon’s slouching into Iran’s hands and reduced its role in 2017. Now with Iran-Saudi reconciliation, both countries may mediate again in Lebanon.
The Iranian foreign minister met Nabih Berri, a leading politician and Shi’ite in Lebanon. The Iranian diplomat was last in Lebanon in April.