Hezbollah blasts U.N. report

Oct. 20, 2010 at 10:53 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The United Nations is meddling in the internal affairs of Lebanon, Shiite movement Hezbollah said in the wake of a U.N. report.

A report on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 released Monday said Lebanon faces a "new climate of uncertainty" and blames Hezbollah for creating an "atmosphere of intimidation." The report followed a controversial visit to Lebanon by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a key supporter of the Shiite movement.

Resolution 1559 calls for the "disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias." Beirut is divided over Hezbollah's weapons. Supporters say they are needed to defend against Israel, while opponents say Israel would stand down if Hezbollah disarmed.

Hezbollah through a statement on its al-Manar news Web site lashed out at the report by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying the United Nations was meddling in Lebanon's internal affairs.

"It seems that he did not realize that Hezbollah has been at the core of Lebanese politics, through its representation in the parliament and Cabinet," the statement read.

Hezbollah gained two Cabinet positions from parliamentary elections in 2009.

The statement from Hezbollah comes as Lebanon braces for indictments from the U.N.-backed tribunal probing the 2005 slaying of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah and Damascus are suspected in the plot, though both deflect the allegations.

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