BEIRUT (Dispatches) -- Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif has pledged Iran’s continuing support to Hezbollah during a meeting with the resistance movement’s secretary-general in Beirut.
Zarif confirmed to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that Iran would "stand firm by the Lebanese state, the Lebanese people and the Lebanese resistance,” emphasizing his country's readiness to offer "every type of aid and cooperation in various fields," according to a statement from Hezbollah.
Nasrallah in turn thanked Zarif for Iran’s support for "Lebanon, Palestine, and the resistance movements against both Zionism and takfiri extremism ... despite the conspiracies and pressure Iran has been subjected to as a result (of this support).”
"This assistance has led to victories in many arenas and battlefields,” Nasrallah added.
Zarif's meeting with Nasrallah came before his sit-down with Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The Iranian official also met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil earlier in the day.
During his meetings with the Lebanese officials, Zarif reiterated Iran's readiness to help in various sectors, including support for the military.
The Lebanese officials raised the issue of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and spoke of the need for Iran to help ensure that they return to their home country.
Bassil said Lebanon will not take part in a Middle East conference in Poland this week that is widely seen as an effort to isolate Iran.
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil made the announcement during a joint press conference with Zarif.
The two-day Warsaw conference begins Wednesday and will be co-hosted by the U.S. Iran, which was not invited, has denounced the conference as a U.S.-led anti-Iran "circus."
Lebanon is technically at war with the occupying regime of Israel, and Lebanese officials avoid conferences where Zionists are present.
Zarif also reiterated during his news conference with Bassil his country's readiness to offer Iranian military assistance to the Lebanese army, adding that it is up to the Lebanese to choose what they want.
Iran has also offered to help improve Lebanon's crumbling power sector. "I want to confirm again that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate with the Lebanese government and the Lebanese army in any field they see suitable," Zarif said.
"We don't want to embarrass anyone in Lebanon through the cooperation with the Islamic Republic," he said, adding that there is no international law that bans Iran from cooperating with any country.
Zarif also said Iran would also help Lebanon with its refugee crisis. Some 1 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring Lebanon since the civil war broke out eight years ago.
Iran has been one of the main backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who appears to be winning the war thanks to huge support from Tehran and Russia.
Zarif said all countries must facilitate the peace process in Syria and refrain from making decisions on its fate, stressing that foreign troops need to end their unauthorized presence in the Arab country.
"All the forces entering Syria without the permission of the official leadership must exit," he said.
He added that Iran is making efforts to contribute to finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria, emphasizing that any solution must protect the country’s territorial integrity.
Zarif's remarks came after a senior commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said earlier in the day that enemies of the Islamic Republic must finally leave the region instead of expecting Iran to end its regional presence.
"They want Iran to leave the region to clear the way for their dominance and allow them once again to control our borders in order to be able to create problems for the Iranian nation," Brigadier General Hussein Salami, the IRGC's second-in-command, said.