Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 16
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Fathali said that the Islamic Republic will not impose pressure to Lebanon over accepting Tehran's "military gift".
Fathali made the remarks after a meeting with Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri, Iran's ISNA news agency reported Nov. 16.
The Iranian ambassador further expressed hope that Lebanese government could overcome "all legal barriers which prevent receiving the Iranian military donation."
The Islamic Republic indicated its goodwill by offering the gift, Fathali added.
Secretary of the Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani During his visit to Beirut on Sept.30 said that Iran will gift the Lebanese army with military equipment and weapons.
Lebanese government has not made decision on accepting Iran's military aid so far.
On Nov. 10 Lebanese media outlet quoted the country's Defense Minister Samir Moqbel as saying the Cabinet will most likely reject the military donation.
According to Moqbel, the aid would be rejected if only one minister opposes it.
If the Cabinet approves the aid Lebanon will discuss the issue with the Security Council, he said.
During a visit to Tehran in mid-October, Moqbel declined to formally respond to Iran's offer because of concern that accepting it could violate a 2007 U.N. Security Council resolution restricting that nation's arms trade, the Washington Post quoted a senior Lebanese diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Some rumors are swirling in Beirut that Washington had warned the military to reject the offer of Iranian arms.
The Iranian offer has been especially divisive among Lebanese politicians.
Several Lebanese ministers have raised concerns that the arms transfer would be a violation of U.N. sanctions on Iran.