Iran's parliament speaker says keen to maintain sound ties with Lebanon
BEIRUT, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani announced on Sunday that Iran is keen on maintaining excellent bilateral ties with Lebanon, LBCI local TV channel reported.
"Lebanon is an influential country in the region and Iran is keen to always see that the country is free, sovereign and independent," Larijani said upon his arrival at Beirut's airport.
Larijani also congratulated Lebanon on its new government.
The Iranian Embassy to Lebanon announced earlier in the day that Larijani's official visit aims at meeting with top officials to discuss latest developments in the region.
The visit is expected to raise concerns in the West especially that some pro-American political parties in the country have previously labeled Prime Minister Hassan Diab's cabinet as the government of Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy in Lebanon.
Diab's cabinet was mainly supported upon its appointment by the two political Shiite parties, Hezbollah and Amal Movement, and the Free Patriotic Movement, an ally of Hezbollah.