May 28, 2024

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Abdollahian insists Iran ready to resolve Lebanese electricity problem

TEHRAN- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has reiterated that that the Islamic Republic is willing to assist Lebanon in building power plants to ease the country’s decades-long electricity shortfall.

Speaking at a news conference in Beirut on Friday, Amir Abdollahian said Iran has repeatedly made proposals to resolve the electricity shortage in Lebanon and is now prepared to deploy technical and engineering teams to Beirut to build power plants that can produce 2,000MW of electricity.

He asserted that significant Iranian corporations have constructed power plants in nearby states as well as in other nations, adding that “this contract is to the benefit of both sides.”

The minister went on to note that Iran supports any measure that aims to address Lebanon’s electricity and energy shortfall as soon as possible.

As a result of severe sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies, Lebanon has been engulfed in one of the greatest economic crises in recent history, according to the World Bank. Since 2019, the value of the Lebanese pound has decreased by about 95% on the black market.

Additionally, the Arab nation has faced a major fuel crisis that has caused homes and businesses to struggle with ongoing power outages, and its economic collapse since 2019 has slowed down fuel imports for government facilities.

Amir Abdollahian, who on Wednesday started a tour of Syria and Lebanon on Wednesday, also spoke with top officials of the two nations regarding important domestic, regional, and global topics.

In his press conference, he also said only Baghdad and Damascus must make decisions about border transportation. “The borders of our region should be the borders of economic and commercial friendship. There is no need for restoration of the military and security measures along with Iraq-Syria common borders.”

The top diplomat stated that Iran considers any rapprochement with the fictitious Israeli regime to be a “strategic” error.

“We always advise our friends in the region to prevent any normalization of relations with a regime that brought nothing to the region but insecurity,” Amir Abdollahian averred.

Elsewhere, Amir Abdollahian mentioned the long-standing strategic links between Iran and Lebanon and said that Tehran constantly follows events in Beirut.

He said Iran will continue to back the resistance movement in an effort to save Lebanon and the rest of the region from Israel.

Any foreign interference in Lebanon’s political issues was also condemned by the minister.

The chief diplomat emphasized that Iran has never meddled in Lebanon’s internal affairs and promised that at its request, it will “continue to strongly support the government, nation, army and resistance in Lebanon.”

He reaffirmed Tehran’s support for any deal reached by the political leaders of Lebanon on the election of the president and the establishment of a new government.

Amir Abdollahian said he had a “very promising” meeting with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of the Hezbollah resistance movement.

The Iranian minister quoted the Hezbollah leader as saying that should the Israeli regime commit any error, the situation against the Zionists would quickly shift.

The Israeli regime, according to Amir Abdollahian, is “suffering from multifaceted and security crises inside the occupied territories.”

Also, Amir Abdollahian said that Iran has consistently backed diplomacy and talks to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name for the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The foreign minister went on to say that a recent agreement between Iran and the United States on unfreezing Iran’s assets illegally frozen in foreign banks and the exchange of prisoners will have a “positive impact on indirect talks about the removal of sanctions.”

The senior diplomat reaffirmed Tehran’s political commitment to reviving the JCPOA in the event that all parties adhere to the terms of the agreement.

On Oman’s request, he said, messages are now being exchanged between Iran and the signatories to the nuclear accord.

Iran was given some sanctions relief thanks to the JCPOA and in return offered to modify parts of its nuclear program.

However, the U.S. withdrew from the accord in 2018 as part of the so-called “maximum pressure” strategy pursued by U.S. President Donald Trump against Iran, reinstating all the sanctions that the deal had eased.

Then, on pressure from Washington, the U.S. allies party to the agreement —France, Britain, and Germany — bowled to the sanctions and suspended their commerce with Tehran.

In April 2021, talks to renew the accord were underway. However, because Washington has refused to provide assurances that it won’t back out of the pact again, the negotiations have stopped.

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