Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Thursday that his country supports any agreement between Lebanese parties to elect a new president.
He made his remarks during a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib in Beirut where he is on an official visit until Friday.
Abdollahian also met with parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
Discussions tackled the current situation in Lebanon and the region, bilateral Lebanese-Iranian relations, and the recent agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic ties.
Sources familiar with Abdollahian’s meetings told Asharq Al-Awsat that the FM did not propose a specific initiative related to Lebanon’s presidential impasse.
The sources stressed that Iran’s position on the elections has not changed and continues to align with those of its allies in Lebanon.
They denied reports that his visit aims to urge his allies to back down from supporting the candidacy of head of the Marada Movement Suleiman Franjieh.
The sources said the FM’s meetings largely focused on the Saudi-Iranian agreement and its impact on the region and Lebanon, in addition to Iran’s readiness to support Lebanon in the electricity and energy sector.
After his meeting with Bou Habib, Abdollahian said: “Iran encourages all Lebanese parties to hold the presidential elections as soon as possible.”
He added that Tehran backs supports any agreement between local parties to elect a new president and called on other countries to respect Lebanon’s choice without interfering in its internal affairs.
For his part, Bou Habib said his guest briefed him on the details of the Saudi-Iranian agreement and hoped the deal will relect positively on Lebanon.
“I am optimistic; every agreement between neighboring countries is good for Lebanon,” he said.