A picture taken on May 20, 2021, from the northern Israeli town of Metula near the border with Lebanon, people raising Palestinian, Lebanese and Iran-backed Hezbollah flags during a rally in solidarity with the Palestinians, on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese village of Kfarkila, near a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) armoured personnel carrier.InternationalIndiaAfricaIran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS this summer, and has been working to expand bilateral cooperation with both Russia and China. Tehran is also the leader of an informal alliance of regional countries, including Syria, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and Iraqi Shia militias, known as the Axis of Resistance.Iran’s foreign minister has praised the struggle in the Middle East to resist and undermine US dominance and create a new international order.“The international system is undergoing fundamental changes and we are witnessing new actors in the international arena,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a meeting with political groups in Beirut, Lebanon on Friday.“The US is trying to maintain its hegemony, but the region and the world understand very well that America cannot exercise its hegemony, and on the contrary, the Resistance is powerful and can achieve its will powerfully,” Amir-Abdollahian added.Today, the Iranian top diplomat said, “the position of the Resistance in the region cannot be ignored,” and is “being noticed by the West,” including as far as the Israeli-Palestinian crisis is concerned.Separately, in talks with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib, Amir-Abdollahian stressed that “the US sanctions regime cannot hinder the economic relations between Iran and Lebanon,” just as “it has failed to impact Iran’s cooperation with Iraq, Turkiye, Pakistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus.”WorldIran, Russia Sign Agreement on Standardization of Traded Goods31 August, 07:15 GMTIran is ready to provide further assistance to Lebanon to help Beirut resolve its long-running fuel and electricity crisis, he said. This includes readiness to build a network of power stations with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts.Bou Habib praised Iran for its support for Lebanon in the nation’s time of crisis, and expressed readiness to further expand cooperation.Lebanon’s political and economic crisis, which began in 2019, has left the country in economic ruin and run by a caretaker government. The post of president has been vacant since last October, when President Michel Aoun resigned at the end of his term.Amir-Abdollahian also met with Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the powerful Lebanese political party and militant group Hezbollah, which has forged close ties with Iran both in Lebanon and in Syria, where Hezbollah fighters backed by Revolutionary Guard Quds Force advisors have fought jihadist extremists for over a decade.In the talks with Bou Habib, Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s long-stated position that “any normalization of relations with the Zionist regime [Iran’s term for Israel] will be detrimental to the entire region.” Iran will “continue to support and assist the Axis of Resistance, to preserve the Lebanese national interest, in the face of Israeli attacks and ambitions that threaten this entire region,” he said.The Iranian diplomat also commented on the “positive developments” in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia following the surprise normalization of relations earlier this year, saying that these processes “will have a positive impact on the entire region,” including for Lebanon.At a press conference at the end of his visit, Amir-Abdollahian also rejected allegations by France – the European power which once controlled Lebanon as a colony, of meddling in Lebanon’s affairs.“I advise Mr. Macron to focus on the situation inside France instead of paying attention to questions of interference in other countries,” he said. “Iran has always played the most constructive role in helping Lebanon,” he added.Earlier in the week, the French president told a conference of French ambassadors that stopping Iranian “interference” was a “key element” in resolving Lebanon’s political standoff.Amir-Abdollahian’s Beirut visit was preceded by a trip to Damascus on Thursday for talks with President Bashar Assad and other Syrian officials. Amir-Abdollahian slammed the illegal presence of US troops in eastern Syria, and blasted Israel for its ongoing campaign of airstrikes against the war-torn country.WorldIraq, Iran Launch Construction of Railroad Between 2 Countries2 September, 11:05 GMT
Iran’s Growing Regional and Global Clout
Known to jealously guard its security and foreign policy independence, and the defense of its interests even against far larger and more powerful foes, including the US, Iran has dramatically ramped up cooperation with Russia and China in recent years as part of ongoing processes related to Eurasian integration. Iran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in July, and acceded to the BRICS bloc late last month. Last week, a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander and advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran sees a maritime-oriented economy and cooperation with Russia and China as keys to countering the impact of US sanctions.