Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran is prepared to help Lebanon in the wake of a tragic explosion in Beirut’s port by delivering humanitarian aid and supplying the Arab country’s urgent and infrastructural needs.
In a telephone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart Charbel Wehbe on Wednesday, Zarif expressed sympathy with the Arab country’s nation and government over the huge blast that struck Beirut on Tuesday.
The Islamic Republic of Iran stands by the Lebanese nation and government at all levels, Zarif said.
He assured the Lebanese foreign minister that Tehran is prepared -upon the order of the Iranian president- to assist the friendly and brotherly state of Lebanon by meeting their essential and infrastructural needs as well as their urgent needs, especially in the humanitarian field.
In remarks at a Wednesday session of the cabinet of ministers, President Hassan Rouhani assigned the Iranian Red Crescent Society to send Lebanon humanitarian aids immediately, including the medical and health supplies.
Lebanon’s president has declared a two-week state of emergency following the massive explosion in Beirut that has killed at least 100 people and injured 4,000 others.
The explosion on Tuesday sent shockwaves across the city, causing widespread damage even on the outskirts of the capital.
Officials said they expected the death toll to rise further as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. Officials linked the blast to some 2,750 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.