Iran has made a serious offer to arm the Lebanese military, according to numerous reports in Lebanese media, all quoting Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament.
Boroujerdi publicly made the offer in a news conference after placing a wreath on the grave of former Hezbollah “Number 2″ terror chief Imad Mughniyeh, assassinated in Damascus in 2008, and that of his son, Jihad, also assassinated more recently.
Mustafa Mugniyeh was appointed by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to take command of Hezbollah’s forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in place of his older brother, Jihad, in June 2015.
“Iran’s permanent and firm stance is to stand by the brotherly Lebanese Republic of Lebanon, government and people,” Boroujerdi said. “We therefore reiterate our firm will in the field of arming the Lebanese army.”
The Iranian official added that the issue “has been seriously discussed with [former] Defense Minister Samir Moqbel during his visit to Iran. The matter is at the disposal of the Lebanese government,” he said.
The offer comes on the eve of a visit to Saudi Arabia by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who reportedly is hoping to convince Riyadh to resume its multi-billion dollar aid package to the Lebanese military.
Saudi Arabia cut its funding to Beirut last February in response to the country’s deepening ties with Iran, the torching of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and a Saudi Consulate in Iran as well.
The destruction was part of a riot triggered by Saudi Arabia’s execution of an Iranian-backed Shi’ite cleric and activist. Riyadh cut its diplomatic ties with Tehran in January 2016 over the affair.
Aoun is a close ally of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization, which is involved in fighting Saudi-backed opposition forces against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
But although Iran has offered arms to Lebanon more than once since 2010, Beirut has been hesitant to accept, according to YaLibnan, due to suspicions about the intentions behind the offers.Hana Levi Julian