The Lebanese government is “very concerned” by Iran’s shipment of Lebanese food to the besieged capital of Beirut.
The shipment was supposed to arrive in the city on Sunday, but Lebanese officials said that it was delayed because of a power cut in the country’s electricity grid.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called the delay “very alarming,” adding that he was “very worried” about the security situation in the capital of Lebanon.
“We have been waiting for a few days for a timely shipment of the food.
We are very concerned about this, and we are asking the international community to assist us,” Aoun told Al Jazeera.
Iran’s Ministry of Economy and Information Technology did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment.
The Lebanese government, however, said that Iran has not shipped food to Beirut since February.
The Lebanese news website Al Arabiya reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had asked the Lebanese government to “re-activate the power in the electricity grid” to ensure the food arrived.
According to a statement from Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the shipment of Iranian food to Tripoli was made “after an extensive consultation with the Lebanese authorities.”
Hariri said the food shipment was made after the “power grid was activated by the international powers” in January.
“We are very, very worried that the food will be lost in the storming of the city,” Hariri told Al Arabiyas news site.
Iran’s food delivery to Lebanon, which was supposed on Saturday to arrive at Beirut International Airport, has been delayed after a power outage in the Lebanese capital.
The country is facing a severe food shortage.
According to the United Nations, more than 40 percent of Lebanon’s population is in need of food, and the country is already facing food shortages due to the war in neighboring Syria.
Despite the government’s announcement, Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy military force in Lebanon, has continued to press its demands for the release of political prisoners.
Aoun and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi have both called on the international international community, particularly the United States, to “ensure that the political prisoners are released and that the humanitarian aid that we are delivering reaches all Lebanese,” according to the Lebanese news site al-Akhbar.
Hariri, however; said on Tuesday that Hezbollah and Iran were “not in the same camp” and were working on different agendas.
“The situation in Lebanon is very different from the situation in Syria, and I do not expect that there will be any political deal,” Harir said.
“We are going to keep fighting for our rights, our independence, and our sovereignty, and if we need to confront the international world, we will confront it.
We have no other option.”