situation report

Feb 11, 2019 | 16:59 GMT

1 min read

Lebanon: Iranian Foreign Minister Calls on Beirut to Accept Military Aid

What Happened: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif began a two-day visit to Lebanon on Feb. 10, expressing his willingness to cooperate with the new Lebanese government and urging Beirut to accept Tehran's offer to supply an air defense system to deter Israeli airstrikes, The Times of Israel has reported.

Why It Matters: Zarif's visit highlights Iran's confidence in the new Lebanese government as Hezbollah has won increased influence in the country's administration. Tehran's offers to supply military aid are aimed at supplanting Western support, which has not been effective in countering airspace violations by Israel.

Background: Lebanon's May 2018 elections increased Hezbollah's influence in the country's government, as the group was recently granted control over Lebanon's vital Health Ministry. Hezbollah has been pushing Beirut to accept Iranian support so as to improve defense and economic ties.

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