Abbas said in connection with “Al-Akhbar” that there are “170 Lebanese who registered to return, and so far (ten o’clock yesterday evening) did not get the approval to return.” In Iran, “We had asked that they assign us private laboratories for the Lebanese to undergo PCR checks before returning, and the Iranians were late in giving me the answer.” Likewise, the Lebanese mission “needs to know the airline and the numbers of seats and the price, so that I can communicate with the community and brief it on the details.” In Lebanon, too, “we have not yet obtained approval to send Lebanese on board the Iranian plane.” While other sources told Al-Akhbar that the Iranians offered to sell the ticket by 300 dollars in exchange for 700 dollars imposed by the “Middle East”, which led to the change of about 130 of those who registered their names to stay where they are due to the high price.
The 170 who wish to return from Iran are divided between 10 cases who received temporary visas and their term expired, 15 have non-serious health conditions, and the rest are distributed among science students, religious seminary students, and residents of Iran. In some cases, a woman, for example, is alone in Mashhad, and suffers from several health problems, “considered a priority to return.”
Lebanon’s ambassador to Washington acknowledges the existence of mediation in the regulations
On the other hand, the Lebanese ambassador to the United States, Gabi Issa, published a statement on the embassy’s Facebook page regarding the return flights, stating that “there are no direct flights from the United States to Lebanon. We have been informed that we have been assigned specific seats on return flights through third countries who are transported to Lebanon exclusively through Middle East Airlines, the priority for elderly people suffering from health conditions, students, and the rest of those who meet the requirements ». Issa said that the seats given to his mission “do not exceed 5% of the thousands who registered, and those who informed the embassy of their intention to return and did not register yet.” For this reason, “we were asked, as an embassy, to choose the cases most in need of return, but unfortunately the seats allocated to us from official and unofficial sources often included the names they wanted to return”, acknowledging the presence of patronage and mediations that control the returnees from the United States.
Issa’s statement came because of the pressures on diplomats in foreign missions and the threatening of some of their lives to accuse them of the communities that they are responsible for setting the regulations for return and mediation. The «News» had indicated that yesterday, which prompted a number of diplomats in the Gulf, Latin America and Africa to send reports to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and expatriates requesting that the airport be opened for a specified period in front of all Lebanese who wish to return.