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 spite of the difficult circumstances it is facing.
‘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.
Nasrallah said there are high hopes that Lebanon will get out of the current crisis through the cooperation of all.
Amir-Abdollahian also reaffirmed Iran’s support for Lebanon, adding that Tehran stands with Beirut on every level.
During the meeting, the two sides also 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 going through crippling fuel shortages, Nasrallah announced the import of Iranian fuel to help Lebanon manage the shortages.
The third tanker carrying Iranian fuel has already reached Syria to be transferred to neighbouring Lebanon.
Iran has also expressed readiness to sell fuel directly to the Lebanese government.
Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian of Iran says Tehran will continue to strongly support the Lebanese army, people and resistance movement.
Despite its pressures on Lebanon, the United States has claimed it would help the Arab country if it rejects 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 the 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.
Iran’s foreign minister says neither the US’s oral messages nor the E3’s empty promises are taken seriously in Tehran.
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 recognise the Zionist regime.
‘Also today, in Beirut, we vociferously emphasised 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 normalising 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.
- Palestinian resistance movements say a decision by an Israeli court to grant Jewish people the right to so-called ‘silent’ prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a dangerous violation of Islamic sanctities.
In a joint statement on Friday, they said the ‘wicked’ decision will pave the way for the Israeli conspiracy to divide al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews, and allow extremist settlers to continue their aggression against the third holiest site in Islam.
The resistance movements said the al-Aqsa Mosque lies at the heart of Muslims’ religious beliefs, and that Palestinians will not compromise on even an inch of their lands and the sacred site.
They also warned the Israeli regime against any act of aggression against the holy compound.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has condemned legalisation of settlers’ so-called ‘silent prayer’ on the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound.
They also called for a large congregation inside the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in a show of vehement opposition to the ‘oppressive’ court ruling against Palestinian lands and sanctities.
The resistance groups further demanded the entire Muslim world defend al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque against Israeli occupiers and their conspiracies.
On Thursday, an Israeli magistrate court ruled not to regard prayers by Jewish worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque as a ‘criminal act’ if they remained silent.
Hamas decried the court’s decision as a ‘blatant aggression’ against the sacred site, and a clear declaration of a war against Islam and its sanctities.
‘The Occupation continues its sinister policies and plans to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque compound both in terms of time and space. The move also paves the way for further incursions and desecrations by Zionists,’ the group said in a statement.
More than 560 Israeli settlers have stormed the holy al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied al-Quds in the latest provocation.
It emphasised that any act of aggression against al-Aqsa Mosque would exacerbate the current volatile situation, and will have a spillover effect on the occupying Israeli regime as well.
Hamas added that last May’s Operation Sword of al-Quds will not be the last battle for al-Quds, and that the ‘resistance is ready and prepared to repel aggression and defend Palestinian rights’.
‘We call on our Palestinian compatriots in al-Quds and elsewhere across the occupied lands to converge en masse on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to confront the Israeli occupation’s partition plans and growing intrusions into the site,’ the statement said.
The Gaza-based resistance movement also urged Arab and Muslim nations to take on their religious responsibility to defend al-Aqsa Mosque.
Separately, Jordan’s Council of Endowments, which manages the Islamic edifices in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, called the Israeli court’s ruling a ‘flagrant violation of the Islamic and sanctity of the mosque and a clear provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world’.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound sits just above the Western Wall plaza and houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
According to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound is prohibited.
Many of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) members are right-wing extremists, who apparently support the demolition of the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple instead.
Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state and view al-Quds’ eastern sector as the capital of their future sovereign state.