Protest held in Beirut against visit by Iran’s foreign minister

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian scheduled to meet top Lebanese officials, including president, prime minister

09:16 - 7/10/2021 Thursday
File photo
File photo

 Lebanese demonstrated Wednesday in Beirut against an imminent visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Anadolu Agency reported that dozens of Lebanese protested in Sassine Square in Achrafieh district of eastern Beirut because of the invitation by a youth group, Sovereign Groups.

Protesters raised the Lebanese flag and placards expressing anger at the visit and what they called Iranian interference in Lebanon.

"We reject the visit of Iran's foreign minister to Lebanon, as if such a visit indicates that the Lebanese Republic is an occupied nation and an extension to the Iranian regime and influence," the head of the Change Movement Party, Elie Mahfoud, said during the rally.

The party and several others, including the National Liberal party, Lebanese Forces party and the Guardians of the Cedars party, accuse Iran of seeking to extend its influence to Lebanon through the Lebanese Hezbollah group. The group denies the accusation.

Amir-Abdollahian is expected to arrive late Wednesday in Beirut, where he will meet top Lebanese officials including President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri the following day.

Since late 2019, Lebanon has grappled with severe domestic challenges, including currency devaluation in which the Lebanese pound lost almost all of its value against the dollar, along with shortages of fuel and medicines.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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