Iran’s foreign minister says his country stands ready to help Lebanon overcome its economic crisis. During a news conference in Beirut, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Iran is ready to build two power plants in Lebanon and help rebuild Beirut’s port, which was destroyed in a massive blast last year. Amir-Abdollahian was speaking after talks with top Lebanese officials, including President Michel Aoun and parliament speaker Nabih Berri. In his meeting with Aoun, Iran’s foreign minister stressed Tehran’s support for Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Aoun, for his part, said Lebanon supports efforts aimed at creating convergence among regional countries.
Russia says NATO’s latest actions against the country will have an adverse effect on the alliance’s ties with Moscow. The Kremlin spokesman made the remarks a day after NATO expelled eight Russian diplomats, accusing them of being "undeclared intelligence officers". The alliance also halved the size of the Russian mission, accusing Moscow of increased malign activities against NATO members. Russia has repeatedly denied such allegations made by the western alliance. Reacting to NATO’s latest moves, a senior Russian lawmaker said Moscow will retaliate, but not necessarily in kind.
N Korea sanctions fallout
A United Nations report says the UN Security Council’s sanctions against North Korea have worsened the country’s humanitarian situation. The UN rights investigator said a risk of starvation threatens the country as access to food has become a serious concern. He added that the impact of sanctions has also left the country short of essential medical supplies while increasing prices by several fold. In June, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un said that the food situation was tense because of natural disasters, acknowledging that his people had faced difficulties during the pandemic.