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Mohammad Fathali
Mohammad Fathali will replace outgoing Iranian ambassador Ghandafar Roken Abadi

The Iranian Embassy in Beirut confirmed that Ghandafar Roken Abadi will be replaced by Mohammad Fathali later this summer.

Lebanon’s Central News Agency said Fathali, who previously served as a Foreign Ministry economic adviser and Iran’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan, would take over as Tehran’s new envoy in Beirut. The CNA said Fathali, a Middle East expert, was expected to take over the post in July.

Roknabadi has been preparing himself to leave . Had made farewell visits Tuesday to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, where the diplomat announced that his mission was over.

He also bid farewell to President Michel Sleiman, who awarded the ambassador the Presidency Shield and wished him success in his next mission.

Denies Iran general’s comments

bassil iran envoy abadiDuring his meeting with Bassil on Tuesday Abadi denied the comments recently attributed to an Iranian general concerning Lebanon’s southern border and refused to discuss the issue

On May 3, the Iranian FARS News Agency quoted Iranian General Yahya Rahim Safavi as saying that Iran’s influence and clout had reached the Mediterranean coasts and that its line of defense starts in Southern Lebanon.

“That topic is finished, and we have announced that the statements were never published in Iranian news agencies in the first place.” Abadi told Bassil

“There is no need to discuss that subject as those statements only ever existed in the media.” He added .

Presidential election

Abadi told Bassil that Lebanon could elect a new president at any moment

“The [current] atmosphere bodes well for the presidential elections,”Abadi said.

“The matter depends on the Lebanese. If they reach an agreement, the election of a president will be possible; the elections could be saved at any moment.” He added.

But the Hezbollah Shiite militant group which was created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and continues to be funded and backed by Iran, has been leading a boycott of the parliament which has been trying to elect a replacement for outgoing president Michel Suleiman whose term ends on May 25

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