Press TV – Iran has rejected claims made by a newspaper criticizing the country’s role in Lebanon, saying the Islamic Republic has always thrown its weight behind lasting stability and security in Beirut.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always supported enduring solidarity, stability and security in Lebanon and spared no effort to maintain and boost unity among the country’s ethnicities and political groups,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday.
He added that the newspaper’s claims run counter to Iran’s stance and its approach of pursuing understanding in Lebanon over the past four decades.
Iran believes that peaceful coexistence among followers of divine religions and ethnicities in Lebanon has turned the country into a model for other states, Qassemi said.
The Iranian spokesperson stressed the importance of strengthening national solidarity in Lebanon, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always taken steps in this regard.”
Respect for national sovereignty of all countries, including Lebanon, is the most important principle in Iran’s foreign policy, he pointed out.
In a phone conversation with Lebanese President Michel Aoun in November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic would always stand by Lebanon and spare no effort to help improve the country’s stability.
Rouhani said Tehran and Beirut had a “very friendly and growing” relationship, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always called for the safeguarding of peace and stability in regional countries, including Lebanon.”
Speaking at a meeting with the managing editors and chief editors of Lebanese TV stations in October, the Lebanese president stressed Iran’s significant role in the Middle East and said the Islamic Republic is a regional power and part of the solution to the region’s woes.
Aoun emphasized that Iran played an influential role in helping resolve regional crises and said, “Iran is present and has its influence in the Middle East and it must be taken into account.”