Iran Ready to Help Lebanon’s Reconstruction: Zarif

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 16, 2020

The Aug. 4 blast at Beirut's port, when thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate ignited setting off a massive explosion, killed almost 180 people, injured 6,000 and caused widespread damage across the city.

David Hale, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, said the U.S. and its allies will respond to "systemic reforms with sustained financial support".

He said Federal Bureau of Investigation agents would arrive this weekend, at the invitation of Lebanon, to help investigate what led to the explosion.

Lebanon celebrates it yearly by performing certain rituals and prayers in Catholic churches on the night of August 14th and continues its celebrations on August 15th.

"We are ready to stand by our brothers the Lebanese people and have confidence in their ability to overcome this crisis and face the challenges posed by the port explosion", stated Sameh Shoukry.

"We can't trust this government".

"We are deeply concerned about the level of irresponsibility and impunity surrounding human and environmental devastation on this scale", they said. Nonetheless, Nada Abdelsater-Abusamra, a lawyer representing victims, said a letter was submitted this week to the U.N. Security Council asking for an global investigation.

Top Lebanese officials, including President Michel Aoun, have rejected calls for an independent probe, describing it as "a waste of time" that would be politicised. "It could be this side or that, and it could be Israel, which nobody can deny", he said.

Hezbollah Secretary-General said Friday that Israel will pay a heavy price if it is responsible for a deadly explosion here in the capital.

"It is not humane to exploit the pain and suffering of the people for political goals", he said, adding that the Lebanese and their representatives should decide on the country's future.

Senior Christian cleric Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, without naming countries, said a new Lebanon was being "cooked in (foreign) kitchens" to serve politicians' interests.

The Maronite church exercises political sway in a country where the head of state must be a Maronite, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shi'ite Muslim.

This assistance comes in addition to the $5 million the Australian Government has committed to support humanitarian efforts, including the World Food Programme, the Red Cross Movement, and UNICEF.

The UN said its appeal money would target improving food security, help the rebuilding of damaged hospitals and schools and provide cash for shelter for families whose homes were rendered uninhabitable.

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