Zarif signs memorial notebook for victims of Beirut explosion

Iran ready to help rebuild ruined places in Beirut

August 9, 2020 - 18:36

TEHRAN – On Saturday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited the Lebanese embassy in Tehran to sign a notebook in memory of the victims of a massive explosion in Beirut port which left at least 150 people dead and 5,000 injured.

Following Zarif’s visit to the embassy, Lebanese Ambassador Hassan Abbas wrote on his twitter page in Arabic that “today I was honored to meet Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran, at the premises of Lebanon’s embassy in Tehran.”

In another tweet, the ambassador said, “Dr. Zarif offered condolences over the bitter incident on August 4 in Beirut and announced Iran’s readiness in reconstruction process.” 

The powerful explosion late on Tuesday took place at port warehouses storing highly explosive material, specifically ammonium nitrate, commonly used in both fertilizer and bombs.

The explosion, hitting with the force of a 3.5-magnitude earthquake, was the biggest ever seen in Beirut. The explosion was felt in the neighboring island of Cyprus, around 240 kilometers away – or about 150 miles — from Lebanon, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

The citizens made homeless in the blast has increased to 300,000, with losses estimated between $10 and $15 billion. 

Mohammad Jalal Firouznia, Tehran’s ambassador to Lebanon, also said on Saturday that Iran plans to play an active role in reconstructing parts of the Lebanese capital devastated by the huge explosion.

Ambassador Firouznia made the remarks while visiting a field hospital set up in Beirut by Iran.

Iran has airlifted humanitarian aid to Beirut. The consignments include food, medical supplies, and field hospitals.

Head of the Lebanese Red Cross George Kataneh has thanked the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) for its immediate readiness to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims.

According to reports released on Sunday, Iran has so far sent 95 tons of humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

In a phone conversation with Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Thursday, President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran is ready to send humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

Zarif had announced on Wednesday that Iran was sending field hospital and medicine to Lebanon.

“Reiterated #Iran’s strong and steadfast solidarity with people of Lebanon in call with FM Wehbeh. Iran is sending field hospital & medicine to assist with disaster relief. Iran stands with Lebanon,” Zarif tweeted.

Tehran’s Ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali, has also said that Iran will continue supporting the Lebanese people and government.

In a meeting with Lebanese Ambassador to Russia Chawki Bou Nassar on Friday, Jalali offered the Lebanese people condolences over the massive explosion.

Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has urged an impartial investigation into the blast that rocked Beirut on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking in a televised speech on Friday, Nasrallah said those responsible for the deadly disaster had to be held to account regardless of their affiliations.

Describing the blast as a massive humanitarian and national catastrophe, the Hezbollah chief called on all the Lebanese to unite to overcome the ordeal.

NA/PA

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