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In Lebanon, Iran FM visits Israel border, extolls Hezbollah Lalrp

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BEIRUT — Iran’s prime diplomat visited Lebanon’s border with Israel on Friday the place he expressed assist for the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group in its wrestle in opposition to their widespread enemy: Israel.

Overseas Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian started his go to to Lebanon since Wednesday, assembly prime officers and expressing Tehran’s readiness to assist construct energy stations in an effort to attempt to finish the Mediterranean nation’s prevailing electrical energy disaster.

Lebanon is within the throes of the worst financial disaster in its trendy historical past, rooted in a long time of corruption and mismanagement by the small nation’s ruling class. The disaster erupted in October 2019 and has plunged three quarters of Lebanon’s 6 million individuals, together with 1 million Syrian refugees, into poverty.

Amirabdollahian go to to the border village of Maroun al-Ras got here three weeks after Israel launched rare strikes into southern Lebanon, hours after militants fired practically three dozen rockets from there at Israel, wounding two individuals and inflicting some property injury. The Israeli navy stated on the time that it focused installations of the Palestinian militant Hamas group in southern Lebanon.

Iran is a primary Hezbollah backer and has provided the militant group over the previous a long time with weapons and funds.

“We’re right here as we speak … to declare once more with a loud voice that we assist the resistance in Lebanon in opposition to the Zionist entity,” Amirabdollahian informed a gathering that included a number of Hezbollah legislators.

The Iranian diplomat’s go to to Lebanon is the primary since Iran and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement in China final month to re-establish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after seven years of tensions.

In neighboring Syria, a pro-government newspaper reported that Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi will start a two-day go to to Damascus subsequent Wednesday, the primary by an Iranian president to the Syrian capital since 2010.

Iran has additionally been a primary backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad because the rebellion that was conflict started in Syria in March 2011, killing practically half 1,000,000 individuals. Tehran has despatched Iran-backed fighters from across the Center East to struggle alongside Assad’s forces, serving to tip the stability of energy in his favor.

The professional-government Al-Watan stated Raisi would meet with Assad to spice up “strategic cooperation” between the 2 allies. A number of agreements and memorandums of understanding would even be signed throughout the go to.

Some oil-rich Arab nations, together with Saudi Arabia, have been slowly reconciling with Assad after supporting opposition fighters for years.

Related Press author Albert Aji in Beirut contributed to this report.