Lebanon launches joint education project with Iran
Lebanese MPs and politicians have reportedly received the draft plan of a joint education project between the education ministries of Iran and Lebanon. Arabstoday has obtained a copy of the draft, which has
caused much controversy due to its contents that apparently clash with Lebanon's secular educational system.
The draft was released at the same time a joint Lebanese-Iranian committee began its work in Beirut.
Former education minister Hassan Mneimneh said Wednesday on the Future TV channel: "Lebanon was never a religious state and is secular. The project included only one category of the Lebanese, while it should be for every category. It's as if there's an Iranian plan to have an education proxy in Lebanon."
Kataeb party member Joseph Abou Khalil said: "What is most dangerous is that it constitutes a kind of cultural invasion under the slogan of 'brotherhood' between the two countries, but its source is the Islamic religion. How come Iran deals with Lebanon in this sense? Is Lebanon an Islamic country?"
Abou Khalil said the memorandum included 20 points on the joint educational co-operation plan, which "undermined the entire Lebanese cultural system". He added: "This is a kind of cultural hegemony on Lebanon being practiced by Iran particularly when it said 'there are civil, cultural and religious ties between the two brotherly countries'.”
"The text of the memorandum was the same as that signed between Tehran and Baghdad, except that they removed 'Baghdad’and put ‘Beirut’," he said.
He asked what the civil and cultural ties that linked Iran to Lebanon were.
"Iran desires to link Iraq, Syria and Lebanon through the Shiite current. They act as if they want to involve Iran in a Sunni-Shiite conflict...this is a dangerous memorandum."