Iran offers Lebanon help to fight terror

The Iranian ambassador to Beirut says the Islamic Republic is prepared to offer its experiences to Lebanon to assist the Arab country in its fight against terrorism. Following a meeting with Lebanon’s new Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil in Beirut on Monday, Ghazanfar Roknabadi said Iran enjoys “extensive experience” in countering terrorism and is ready to lend a hand to Lebanon in this regard. Commenting on the content of his talks with Bassil, Roknabadi said he congratulated the new foreign minister on the formation of a new government in his country, underlining the need for stronger “unity” and “solidarity” among all Lebanese groups. The Iranian envoy stated that the creation of a government in Lebanon will have a positive impact on the political and security situation in the Arab country as well as the entire Middle East. On February 15, Lebanon’s then Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam announced the formation of a unity government after months of political deadlock in the country. The new government includes members of both the resistance movement Hezbollah and the camp of former Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri. Roknabadi further pointed to the recent terrorist attacks in Lebanon, saying Israeli-backed terrorist groups perpetrate such inhumane crimes to serve the interests of the Zionist regime in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other regional states. The Lebanese capital has been repeatedly hit by terrorist attacks in recent months. On February 19, at least five people were killed and several others injured in two bomb attacks carried out in Beirut’s southern Bir Hassan neighborhood near the Iranian Cultural Chancellery and the Kuwaiti Embassy. In a similar assault in November 2013, over two dozen people, including Iran’s cultural attaché in Beirut, were killed and at least 150 others were injured after two explosions struck near the Iranian Embassy.