Iran ready to sell arms to Lebanon

Minister says his country is prepapred to sell military equipment on Lebanon's request.

    Hassan Nasrallah said his group can help
    in securing the deal [AFP]

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

    'Friendly assistance'

    "I vow that Hezbollah will work fervently and capitalise on its friendship with Iran to ensure it helps arm the Lebanese military in any way it can," he said.

    Nasrallah, whose movement is backed by Iran and Syria, made the call following a US freeze in its military aid to Lebanon in the wake of deadly border clashes between Lebanese and Israeli troops.

    A US legislator earlier this month suspended $100m of military aid to Lebanon over concerns the weapons could be used to attack Israel, and that Hezbollah may have influence over the Lebanese army.

    In Washington Mark Toner, a US state department spokesman, said the possibility of Iranian arms sales to Lebanon underscore "the importance both to our national security and the security of the region to continue with our security assistance to the Lebanese army".

    Toner said a review of the aid programme to Lebanon was under way and that "we hope to conclude that soon and renew assistance".

    The Lebanese army is still seen as under-equipped compared to Hezbollah.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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