TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Monday offered congratulations to Michel Aoun and the Lebanese nation over his election as the new president of the Arab country.

Qassemi described the consensus of Lebanon’s various political groups on the election of president as “a significant step to institutionalize democracy and maintain stability” in the country.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran congratulates the (Lebanese) people, various political groups as well as Mr. Michel Aoun, and hopes that during his term as president, we will witness Lebanon’s development and prosperity as well as further expansion of relations between the two countries,” the Iranian spokesman said.

The Lebanese parliament elected former army commander Michel Aoun as president earlier on Monday.

Aoun, who is in his 80s, secured the presidency by winning the support of 83 MPs, well above the absolute majority of 65 needed to win, according to a tally of votes read out in a televised broadcast from parliament.

The Lebanese presidency is reserved for a Maronite Christian in the country's sectarian power-sharing system.

Aoun is due to meet MPs later this week on their preferences for prime minister.