Lebanon aftermath: Iran’s Zarif criticises western response

Iran’s foreign minister has criticised western countries for demanding political change in Lebanon as a condition for providing financial aid to the country.
Mohammad Javad Zarif was the latest high profile figure to visit Beirut as attention turns to recovery and reconstruction in the aftermath of the port explosion.
Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker reports from Beirut, Lebanon.

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Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut, which makes it the third-largest city in the Levant region and the fifteenth-largest in the Arab world.

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In This Story: Iran

Iran, also called Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Its central location in Eurasia and proximity to the Strait of Hormuz give it significant geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital and largest city.

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.

Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.

The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.

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Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in the Levant region of Western Asia, and the transcontinental region of the Middle East.

The official language, Arabic, is the most common language spoken by the citizens of Lebanon. Its capital is Beirut.

Lebanon was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and is a member of the Arab League (1945), the Non-Aligned Movement (1961), Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (1969), and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (1973).

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