Lebanon Heads towards Annulling Decision Allowing Iranians Entry without Permission Stamps

Lebanon Heads towards Annulling Decision Allowing Iranians Entry without Permission Stamps

Tuesday, 19 June, 2018 - 05:45
Lebanese Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouq. (NNA)
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Lebanese General Security’s recent decision to allow Iranian travelers entry to Lebanon without stamping their passports sparked angry reactions in Beirut.

The Lebanese Forces party asked Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouq to clarify the issue amid reports that he had ordered the General Security to suspend its move.

He explained that the government should have a say over such an issue.

On Sunday, the General Security asserted that its decision to allow the entry of Iranians without permission stamps is "entirely within its jurisdiction.”

However, the issue drove a wave of criticism from several Lebanese parties that said the main objective behind such a decision was to overpass international sanctions against Iran and “Hezbollah” and to facilitate the transfer of money and fighters to Syria.

The General Security said its decision had “no political motives,” but it was a normal procedure, which was adopted several years ago with a number of nationals.

“The decision does not mean that Iranians or other nationals are allowed to enter the country illegally,” it added.

Lebanese Forces deputy Wehbi Qatisha sent an inquiry to Mashnouq concerning the issue.

“Was Minister Nohad Mashnouq informed about this procedure? If so, wasn’t he supposed to present it to cabinet to take the right decision?” Qatisha wrote in his letter addressed to the interior minister.

He added: “General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim has the administrative authority to exempt individuals from having their passports stamped or not, in special cases that have no political repercussions.”

“However, when the issue is related to an entire state and when it has political repercussions, then the decision falls under the power of the political authority.”

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