Lebanon’s Interior Ministry reinstates passport stamps on Iranian travelers

An Iranian shiite militia fighter is shown entering Iraqi border
An Iranian shiite militia fighter is showing his passport as he crosses Iraqi border

Interior Minister Nohad Machnouq overturned Monday a decision by the General Security agency to issue Iranian travellers entering Lebanon with landing slips instead of stamping their passports has raised eyebrows, a source close to the minister told Annahar.

Despite the Foreign Ministry issuing a statement Sunday arguing that such decisions fall within entirely within the General Security’s jurisdiction, Machnouq later overruled the decision which “can only be taken by the Cabinet.”

Lebanon and Iran waived visa requirements for their respective citizens in 2015 in the wake of the now-defunct Nuclear Agreement, making travelling between both countries easier.

According to the source, the General Security implemented the new proceedings a “week ago without consulting with Machnouq.”

This development comes  a day after Lebanese media including Ya Libnan reported  that  Lebanon is  facilitating movement of IRGC fighters and arms to Syria, Iraq Yemen. According to the report,  Hezbollah is  in control of the airport and has been allowing  the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to use the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport as a base for Iranian regime operations, which consists of transporting weapons and fighters to locations and countries serving the Revolutionary Guards’ strategy for regional intervention.

The development also comes 3 days after  Iranian media reported that  the Lebanese embassy in Tehran announced that going forward, in order to facilitate the movement of Iranian citizens to Lebanon, their passport would not be stamped at the Beirut airport .

Lebanon’s Hezbollah is a division of the Quds force of The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which  plays the leading role in fueling major wars in the Middle East, including the current wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Hezbollah, which is classified as a terrorist group by the United States and several Arab countries wields strong political influence in Lebanon and its powerful military wing has been fighting for over 5 years in the Syrian conflict in support of President Bashar al Assad. Agencies

A Nahar/YL