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Protesters in Lebanon Demand Expulsion of Iranian Ambassador

Protesters in Lebanon Demand Expulsion of Iranian Ambassador

Sunday, 18 April, 2021 - 10:00
Protesters in front of the foreign ministry on Saturday. (AFP)

Civil movement groups staged a sit-in on Saturday in front of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beirut to protest against “Iran’s violation of Lebanon’s land and sea borders” and the government’s failure to address the issue.

Last month, the Iranian ambassador refused to respond to a summoning by caretaker foreign minister, Charbel Wehbeh, after he insulted Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai on Al-Alam channel, which is affiliated with Iran.

In a statement on behalf of the protesters, lawyer Grace Moubarak said: “We, the free groups that emerged from the October 17 revolution, believers in sovereignty, freedom and independence, stand here today to raise our voice and to object against the Iranian ambassador’s refusal to accept his summoning after insulting our national sovereignty, in flagrant violation of Lebanon’s dignity.”

She continued: “The incident reflects the authorities’ insistence on neglecting our rights, distorting the image of Lebanon, destroying its port and half of its capital… in order to serve the Iranian axis and isolate the country from its Arab, regional and global fold.”

Protesters raised the issue of the maritime borders and the failure to sign a decree demanding the expansion of the Lebanese maritime zone in the negotiations with Israel.

“The time has come to liberate Lebanon and restore its decision-making power,” Moubarak urged, adding: “Therefore, we request signing the amendment to Decree 6433, which guarantees our southern maritime borders…, confronting the flagrant aggression of our northern maritime borders, and severing diplomatic relations with Iran, in addition to the expulsion of its ambassador.”

Protesters also called for the implementation of the constitution, national pact and international and Arab resolutions, especially UN Security Council Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, and holding of an international conference on Lebanon, according to an initiative proposed by Rai.

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