Zarif: “Iran has no problem” with seeing Lebanon without a president


Zarif  angryIranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told French president Francois Hollande that Iran has no problems seeing Lebanon without a president and slammed claims of an Iranian intervention in Lebanon’s controversial presidential election and said that Iran is “against foreign interference,” Al-Hayat daily reported on Saturday.

Hollande told Zarif during his trip to France that the situation in Lebanon is dangerous and fragile, added the daily.

Hollande said that it is a miracle that Lebanon remains steadfast without a president, adding that the Mediterranean country is passing through an exceptional fragile stage although some (in a reference to Hezbollah) believes that it can continue without a head of state, a source that followed up on the meeting of the two men at the Elysee Palace told the newspaper.

To that, Zarif responded with “Iran has no problem with that. The Christian parties in Lebanon should unite to choose a president, and if this happens, Iran will not oppose it,” added the source on condition of anonymity.

Hollande had stated that he does not share the opinion of those who believe that it is possible for Lebanon to continue without a president, and stressed the need to stop the obstruction of the state’s institutions, according to the source.

Zaire reportedly shocked the French side, when he said that there should not be any foreign interference, and that foreign intervention is what ruined the agreement on the election of Marada chief Suleiman Franjieh and led to an unfamiliar alliance between head of the Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and the head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun, said the source.

Hezbollah and its backer Iran have been accused of intentionally delaying the election of a new head of state.

Furthermore, the source said that French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will discuss in Beirut on 11 and July 12 the possibility of holding a meeting of the Support Group for Lebanon in New York, with the potential release of a statement distancing Lebanon from regional conflicts and showing an international consensus on the importance of protecting the country from the conflicts that surround it.

The Lebanese parliament failed again on Thursday and for the 41st time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25 , 2014.

As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the session, because they could not reportedly guarantee Aoun’s election as a president

Speaker and Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to July 13th.