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Hero's welcome in Lebanon for Iranian leader

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

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    Oct 14, 2010
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    AFP/POOL – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives at Beirut's international airport. Ahmadinejad received …



    by Mohamad Ali Harissi Mohamad
    Wed Oct 13, 10:24 pm ET

    BEIRUT (AFP) – Iranian President received a hero's welcome on his first official visit to Lebanon, where he hailed the country's resistance against Israeli "aggression."

    And on Thursday he was due to defy his international critics by touring villages in the south of the country, just a few kilometres (miles) from the Israeli border, that were destroyed during the 2006 conflict.
    Ahmadinejad was showered with rice and rose petals Wednesday by tens of thousands of who lined the streets and waved Iranian flags as his motorcade made its way from the airport to the presidential palace.

    He can also expect a hero's welcome in southern Lebanon Thursday, where Iran has been a major donor in reconstruction following the month-long 2006 war.

    The two-day trip is viewed as a boost for the Shiite militant Hezbollah. Members of Lebanon's pro-Western parliamentary majority however have criticised it as a bid to turn the country into "an Iranian base on the Mediterranean."

    In Washington, the described the official visit as "provocative", while Israeli officials said it marked Lebanon's transformation into an "extremist state."

    "We reject any efforts to destabilise or inflame tensions within Lebanon," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday in Kosovo.

    "We would hope that no visitor would do anything or say anything that would give cause to greater tension or instability in that country."

    At a press conference with Lebanese counterpart, Ahmadinejad hailed Lebanon's resistance against the "Zionist regime" and offered his country's backing toward that end.

    "We fully support the resistance of the Lebanese people against the Zionist regime and we want full liberation of occupied territory in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine," he said.

    "As long as (Israeli) aggression exists in the region, we will not see stability," he added.

    A beaming Ahmadinejad later appeared at a rally in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburb of Beirut. He waved to a rapturous crowd of tens of thousands before taking his seat next to the militant party's deputy commander Naim Qassem.

    Chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel," Hezbollah supporters turned out en masse to welcome Ahmadinejad, whose country is a major financial, military and ideological supporter of their militant Shiite group.

    "President Ahmadinejad is right when he says Israel is illegitimate and should cease to exist," Nasrallah told the ecstatic crowd via video link.

    Ahmadinejad, who has called Israel a "tumour" and has denied the , repeated at the rally assertions that the Jewish state's downfall was inevitable.

    "The Zionist regime will continue its downfall and no power can save it because of the resistance in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Turkey, Iran and the rest of the region", he vowed.

    The rally was held at an outdoor stadium where Iranian flags and photos of Ahmadinejad were hoisted alongside two life-sized pictures of overturned Israeli Merkava tanks.

    "Iran is the heartbeat of the resistance," said Hussein Khawi, 50, who was at the rally. "Israel won't dare come near south Lebanon anymore."

    President Ahmadinejad's first visit since his election in 2005 highlights the clout Iran wields in Lebanon through Hezbollah, but it comes at a sensitive time in politically turbulent Lebanon.

    Hezbollah is locked in a standoff with Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri over unconfirmed reports that a UN-backed tribunal is set to indict members of the Shiite militant group over the 2005 assassination of his father, ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

    Tensions over the tribunal have grown steadily in recent weeks, raising fears of renewed sectarian violence and the collapse of Lebanon's hard-won national unity government.

    At the Beirut rally, Ahmadinejad made a passing remark defending Hezbollah.

    "In Lebanon, a friend and patriot was viciously assassinated," he said in reference to Rafiq Hariri.
    Western countries "are trying to sow sedition and conflict... by manipulating the media to accuse our friends (Hezbollah) and fulfill their aims in the region," he added.


    Source. Hero's welcome in Lebanon for Iranian leader - Yahoo! News
     
  2. Kipala

    Kipala JF-Expert Member

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    Kweli Washia wengi wanashangilia. Umeshasikia ya kwamba Waislamu wengi walio Wasunni hawana furaha? Maana wana wasiwasi juu ya silaha za Hezbolla zinazotoka Uajemi na kuwa sababu ya vurugo nyingi ndani ya Lebanoni?
     
  3. Kipala

    Kipala JF-Expert Member

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    "Hezbollah's rivals expressed concern over the message sent by the Iranian leader's visit. A group of 250 politicians, lawyers and activists sent an open letter to Ahmadinejad on Tuesday, criticizing Tehran's backing of Hezbollah and expressing worry Iran was looking to drag Lebanon into a war with Israel. In the northern Lebanon town of Tripoli, home to many Sunnis, posters have gone up in recent days showing Ahmadinejad's face crossed out, above the words- "No welcome to the rule of clerics.""


    Chanzo: The Hindu : News / International : Huge crowds greet Ahmadinejad in Lebanon
     
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