Iran Blames Israel for Deadly Violence at Beirut Protest
i24 News – Iran condemned the killing of protesters in Lebanon, describing Thursday’s shootings as seditions backed by Israel, state-run Press TV said on Twitter on Friday.
“Iran believes that the people, the government, the army and the resistance in Lebanon will successfully overcome seditions backed by the Zionist entity,” IRNA news agency quoted the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.
The clashes in Beirut began in the largely Christian neighborhood of Ain el-Remmaneh, the same location where the 1975-1990 civil war broke out.
The violence centered around Tayouneh, an area of the Lebanese capital where battle lines were drawn between Muslim and Christian militias during the civil conflict that ended three decades ago.
Thursday’s shootings occurred during a demonstration by supporters of the Shi’ite Hezbollah and Amal movements who are demanding that the judge investigating last year’s deadly Beirut port blast be removed.
A Lebanese court on Thursday ruled against the removal of Judge Tarek Bitar.
Six people were killed and 32 were wounded when snipers opened fire on the demonstrators, with the Shi’ite movements that organized the protests saying that people were shooting from rooftops.
Bursts of gunfire could be heard for hours.
Lebanese leaders called for calm, with President Michel Aoun calling the Beirut violence “unacceptable” and saying that it “took us back to the days we had long gone.”
The United States called for an immediate cessation of violence, with State Department spokesperson Ned Price saying that “judges must be free from violence. They must be free from threats. They must be free of intimidation, including that of Hezbollah.”
The US designates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.