In a Thursday telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Lebanese President Michel Aoun thanked Iran for its solidarity with the people of Lebanon in the wake of the July 4 blast at Beirut’s port.
Expressing his deep gratitude to the Iranian government and nation for the brotherly and friendly sentiments in support of the Lebanese, Aoun said the history of friendship between the two nations shows that Iran has spared no effort to assist Lebanon whenever the Arab country has needed help.
He also noted that ascertaining the cause of the explosion and evaluating the extent of damages requires time.
For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave an assurance that Iran would fulfill Lebanon’s needs for medical and health supplies, medicines, and foodstuff.
“The Iranian government and nation will stand by the dear people of Lebanon as usual,” Rouhani said, adding that he has assigned the foreign minister, health minister, and head of the Red Crescent Society to stay in contact with their Lebanese counterparts to support rapid humanitarian response.
Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut’s port has killed at least 137 people, injured 5,000, and displaced 300,000 citizens.
Officials linked the blast to hundreds of tons of confiscated ammonium nitrate that were being stored in a warehouse at the port for six years.
The explosion has also destroyed Lebanon’s silos that contain the national grain reserve. Lebanon imports up to 80 percent of its food needs and is particularly reliant on imported soft wheat to make Arabic flatbread. About 85 per cent of the country's cereals were reportedly stored in the facility.