Lebanese PM Welcomes Military Aid from Iran

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Lebanese Prime Minister, Tammam Salam has said that the government welcomes any unconditional military and security aid, including from Iran. Speaking to the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, Salam affirmed that the army has the capacity to eradicate terrorist groups from the country

“Our army and security forces are waging a war against terrorism and Lebanon's enemies, starting with Israel and we therefore welcome any unconditional military and security aid, even from Iran and any other country,” he told the daily.

Salam also stated that the Lebanese army’s current battle in the north-eastern border town of Arsal, where terrorists are hiding and plotting attacks, is in action but faces the presence of civilians as a deterrent to raid the town.

Salam’s statement is a strong indicator of Lebanon’s disappointment with Saudi Arabia and France, which have promised to deliver billions of dollars, worth of military aid to the Lebanese military.

Riyadh announced a grant of $3 billion to the Lebanese army to buy weapons and equipment, allegedly intended to boost Lebanon's defensive capabilities, in December 2013. Yet it wasn't until April 2014 that the first delivery was made due to political hurdles. The delay hindered the Lebanese army's progress in battling extremist groups in the northern city of Tripoli as well the extremist-infested town of Arsal.

The move was part of Riyadh’s bid to pressure the Lebanese government into rejecting a generous offer from Iran.

The Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani had voiced Tehran's willingness to grant equipment to the Lebanese army as a token of its appreciation and to reinforce its military powers in the face of the Takfiri threat.

Not long after the Lebanese government rejected this offer and took up the Saudi-French deal instead, Assafir newspaper disclosed that the Milan anti-tank missiles appeared to be dysfunctional and old. Bearing in mind that the army needs state-of-the-art weapons to confront the terrorists, this failure to launch seems to have pit the country into a state of regret.

Now once again, it is welcoming the Iranian offer which Presidential envoy Morteza Samadi said was still on the table last April.

Tehran’s readiness to supply Lebanon with arms at any given time regardless of the political situation, to confront the terrorist threats at its doorstep is part of the Islamic Republic’s anti-Zionist policy, and not an interest-based move as some may contend. Lebanon is at the forefront in the wars against Takfirism and the Israeli regime, rendering Iran’s offer unconditional. The evidence can be seen in its readiness to cooperate with any country, group, organization, or person who stands in the face of the Israeli regime.

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