Iran FM Zarif to Visit Lebanon amid Growing Israeli Provocations

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will pay a visit to Lebanon amid growing tensions between Beirut and Tel Aviv, according to Press TV. 

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Zarif will travel to Lebanon at the head of a delegation on Sunday to hold talks with senior officials in the West Asian country.

The trip comes amid reports of a massive military exercise held by the Israeli army to simulate a war on Lebanon. Yiddish News reported on Friday that the drill involved tanks and warplanes.

The maneuver comes days after the secretary general of Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement expressed his readiness to bring defense systems from Iran in order to confront Israeli aircraft.

Syria and Iraq are accepting Iran's help and benefiting from it, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, adding, “Whatever the Lebanese Army needs to become the strongest regional army, I am willing to go to Iran and bring it.”

“Why should Lebanon remain afraid to cooperate with Iran?” he asked.

“In the military field, wouldn’t people make an uproar and accuse Hezbollah of dragging Lebanon into war should the party shoot down an Israeli aircraft attacking Lebanon? I’m a friend of Iran, and I’m willing to bring the Lebanese Army air defense systems from Iran to confront Israel."

Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, in both of which Hezbollah inflicted heavy losses on the regime’s military. Israeli officials have even threatened another war on Lebanon.

Lebanese officials have repeatedly complained about Israeli jets' violation of Lebanon's sovereignty.

On Friday, Lebanon's Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri blasted tel Aviv for its “continued violation of Lebanese airspace and territorial waters.”

He made the remarks at a meeting with Major General Stefano Del Col of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The Israeli army enjoys an overwhelming support from the Western countries.

Zarif told Russia's RT television on Wednesday that the US and EU countries should be held accountable for exports of arms to the Middle East and stoking wars in the region.

"The arms which are daily fired above the heads of ordinary Yemenis and kill many people are not of local production. They were manufactured in the USA, France, the UK as well as in other European countries. They should be held accountable for that," Zarif said.

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