Lebanese PM rejects Israel's 'Iranian missile factories' claim

Lebanese PM rejects Israel's 'Iranian missile factories' claim
2 min read
02 September, 2017
Lebanese PM Saad Hariri has dismissed Israel's claims that Iran is building missile factories in Lebanon.
Hariri said said Israel "knows very well there are no missile factories in Lebanon" [Anadolu]
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has rejected Israel's claims that Iran is building missile factories in Lebanon, calling the accusations part of Israel's "deception campaigns".

Hariri made the remarks in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, in which he said that Israel "knows very well there are no missile factories in Lebanon".

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the claim against Lebanon and Iran in a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this week.

Netanyahu claimed that Iran is "building sites to produce precision-guided missiles toward that end in both Syria and in Lebanon".

The claim was echoed by Israeli defence minister Avigdor Leiberman, who said that Tehran is "working to set up factories to manufacture accurate weapons within Lebanon itself".

Israeli media outlets also made a similar claim, saying that the missile factories were being constructed, however Lebanese PM Hariri had raised "objections" to them.

Hariri, however, dismissed the claims altogether, saying that the allegations are part of Israel "conducting campaigns of deception".

The prime minister also cast aside Israeli aspersions that Hizballah is in control of Lebanon.

"They (the Israelis) say Hizballah controls Lebanon, and that is not true. Hizballah is present. It's in the government and it has support in the country. But this doesn't mean Hizaballah controls all of Lebanon," he said.

Israel's missile factory accusation followed a report from a Syrian pro-rebel news outlet that claimed Iran is supervising construction of a missile factory in north-western Syria. 

The report, which was published in June, was seemingly confirmed two weeks ago, when satellite imagery of the area was released by Israeli firm ImageSat International.

Imagesat International said that a building situated in Wadi Jahannam, near the coastal town of Baniyas, closely resembles a missile factory near the Iranian captial, Tehran. 

Tehran, which is providing military backing to Syria's regime fighting against rebel groups, has given no comment on the matter.