Tags: ML | Iran | Lebanon

Iran Says It's Ready to Sell Arms to Lebanon

Wednesday, 25 Aug 2010 07:55 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Iran is prepared to sell weapons to Lebanon if Beirut asks for help in equipping its military, Iran's defense minister said Wednesday.

Gen. Ahmad Vahidi's comments come a day after the leader of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah group, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, called on the Lebanese government to formally seek military assistance from Iran.

"Lebanon is our friend," Vahidi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. "If there is a demand in this respect, we are ready to help that country and conduct weapons transactions with it."

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Nasrallah vowed that his Iranian-backed group could help secure the aid for Lebanon's poorly equipped army.

The Hezbollah leader made his suggestion after a U.S. congressman suspended $100 million of American military aid to Lebanon earlier this month over concerns the weapons could be used against Israel and that Hezbollah may have influence over the Lebanese army.

Lebanon's government has since opened an account at the central bank to receive donations to help it purchase weapons for the military.

But Beirut is not entirely dependent on U.S. military assistance, and has turned to other countries, including Russia and Arab nations, for assistance in the past.

Iran is a key supporter of Hezbollah, believed to funnel it weapons and millions of dollars in funding, though Tehran denies arming the Shiite group. Hezbollah, also closely allied to Syria, boasts a heavy arsenal of rockets capable of reaching deep inside Israel.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters the possibility of Iranian arms sales to Lebanon's army underscore "the importance both to our national security and the security of the region to continue with our security assistance to the Lebanese army."

Both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have backed sending military aid to Lebanon, maintaining that a professional military is critical for the government to exert its sovereign authority, which has been challenged by armed Hezbollah militants.

Asked what the status is of the review of U.S. aid to Lebanon demanded by some in Congress, Toner said: "We're reviewing the program that's under way, and we hope to conclude that soon and renew assistance."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Rep. Steve King: House Will Approve Border Funding Bill

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 22:54 PM

Rep. Steve King said on Thursday that he believed House Republicans would approve legislation to pay for the immigration . . .

Homeland Security Report: Border Children Transmitting Diseases

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 22:36 PM

An alarming Homeland Security inspector general memo says some of the migrant children who've poured across the southern . . .

Cuomo Retains Defense Counsel as Corruption Probe Widens

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 22:19 PM

A criminal defense attorney says he's been retained by the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a federal prosecutor  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved