Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Beirut on 26 April to meet with Lebanese officials and discuss the latest developments in the region, Al-Mayadeen has reported.

Amir-Abdollahian’s visit to the Lebanese capital follows his visit to the Sultanate of Oman earlier this week.

The Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Mojtaba Amani, stated that the schedule of the foreign minister would be intense and that he would have “important meetings with Lebanese officials and political forces, to consult with them on the latest developments and developments in the region,” including with the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, the caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in the government, Abdullah Bou Habib.

Amir-Abdollahian is also expected to meet with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah during the visit.

Many observers expect Amir-Abdollahian to discuss the issue of the Lebanese presidency during his meetings. The post of president has been vacant since former president Michel Aoun’s term expired on 31 October without an agreement to choose his successor.

Iran-ally Hezbollah has supported the nomination of Suleiman Franjieh as president. Franjieh, head of the Maronite Christian Marada party, comes from a noted Lebanese family. His grandfather was president when Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war broke out, while in 1978, his father, politician Tony Franjieh, and mother and sister were murdered by rival Christian militia fighters.

Al-Jumhuriya newspaper cited political sources speculating that Amir-Abdollahian might ask Tehran’s allies in Lebanon to consider ending their support for Suleiman Franjieh’s presidential nomination because “protecting the renewed relation with Riyadh has the priority,” the sources added.

Iran and Saudi Arabia, long-time regional rivals, recently agreed to restore relations following talks mediated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Iranian foreign minister Amir-Abdollahian last visited Lebanon in January, where he met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Bouhabib and stressed that Iran “does not interfere in the internal affairs of brotherly Lebanon and welcomes the convergence and dialogue of all political currents,” noting his “full confidence that the Lebanese political currents have sufficient awareness and experience to find a way out of the presidential vacancy.”

Source » thecradle