Iran’s Private Sector Ready to Operate in Lebanon: Official

A senior Iranian official says the country is seeking to remove existing obstacles to the presence of the Iranian private sector in Lebanon.

“No government had been established in Lebanon for around 13 months. Moreover, the issue of the coronavirus pandemic, US sanctions and issues in banking relations as well as last year’s Beirut port explosion have been among impediments to the expansion of relations between the two countries in economic and trade areas,” said Mirmasoud Hosseinian, the director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Department for Middle East and North Africa.

The top diplomat added efforts are being made to hold an Iran-Lebanon joint economic commission by the end of this year.

He said the private sector can conduct activities in Lebanon in a variety of fields.

“At the moment, the main problem facing Lebanon is economic issues, and we can play an important role in this regard by exporting technical and engineering services,” the official said in an exclusive interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA).

“Iran has not violated the laws of the Lebanese government in this regard. A great part of Lebanon’s economy is run by the private sector, and we have sold fuel to businessmen of the private sector in Lebanon, and Hezbollah has supported and managed this idea,” he explained.

He further added Iran intends to keep sending fuel to Lebanon as several other fuel shipments are scheduled to be dispatched to the Arab country.

This is while Iran has already sent several fuel consignments to Lebanon.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official said Lebanese authorities have welcomed talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“Iran and Saudi Arabia are two major countries in the region, and if relations between the two countries improve, it will influence Iran’s ties with a large number of countries in the Persian Gulf region and North Africa,” he said.

He also touched upon Iran-Egypt relations, and said the two countries have numerous issues.

“We hope these issues will soon be resolved,” he said.

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