Iran hails visit to Lebanon's south

Oct. 15, 2010 at 11:06 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
TEHRAN, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Hezbollah south of Lebanon served to strengthen the resistance, an Iranian cleric said.

Ahmadinejad delivered an anti-Israeli speech to throngs of supporters in southern Lebanon during his visit to the Arab country. Washington reacted angrily to the visit by saying Tehran was undermining Lebanese sovereignty in its tacit support of Hezbollah.

"His travel to southern Lebanon is solely to rally Hezbollah, which continues to serve as Iran's proxy in Lebanon," said P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told an audience during Friday prayers in Tehran, however, that Ahmadinejad's message was courageous in tone, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

"It contained an anti-Israeli, anti-American and pro-Palestine message," the cleric said.

Ahmadinejad's speech was delivered a few miles from the Israeli border where Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah praised the withdrawal of Israeli forces in 2000.

The Friday prayer leader said Tehran was thankful to Nasrallah for welcoming the Iranian president to the country.

Ahmadinejad's visit comes as Hezbollah braces for possible indictments from a U.N.-backed tribunal probing the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah said during the summer that it has evidence to suggest Israel was tied to the plot.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Madeleine McCann report finds authorities hindered investigation
Obama approval rating hits record low in blue California
At least 6 dead in Paris apartment explosion
Islamic State allegedly beheads second American journalist
Mary Landrieu hit with residency, ethics complaints
Trending News