BEIRUT — Iran’s prime diplomat visited Lebanon’s border with Israel on Friday the place he expressed help for the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group in its wrestle towards their frequent 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 fashionable 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 folks, together with 1 million Syrian refugees, into poverty.

Earlier this month, Israel launched uncommon strikes into southern Lebanon, hours after militants fired almost three dozen rockets from there at Israel, wounding two folks and inflicting some property harm. The Israeli navy mentioned on the time that it focused installations of the Palestinian militant Hamas group in southern Lebanon.

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

“We’re right here at present … to declare once more with a loud voice that we help the resistance in Lebanon towards the Zionist entity,” Amirabdollahian informed a gathering that included a number of Hezbollah legislators within the border village of Maroun al-Ras.

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

Later Friday, the Iranian diplomat held a information convention on the Iranian Embassy. He mentioned the Riyadh-Tehran settlement could have constructive “results within the area typically.” The 2 nations will reopen embassies in Tehran and Riyadh “inside just a few days,” he mentioned, including that he invited his Saudi counterpart to go to Iran and that the invitation was welcomed.

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 foremost backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad because the rebellion that became conflict started in Syria in March 2011, killing almost half one million folks. Tehran has despatched Iran-backed fighters from across the Center East to struggle alongside Assad’s forces, serving to tip the steadiness of energy in his favor.

The professional-government Al-Watan mentioned 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 in the course of the go to.

Requested about Raisi’s upcoming go to to Damascus, Amirabdollahian solely mentioned that “a program and a plan for the go to within the close to future” had been ready, with out providing a particular date.

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.


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