(photo credit: AP)
Iran described a draft UN Security Council resolution aimed at ending the Israeli-Hizbullah fighting as a new offensive against Lebanon.
"The proposed resolution is another operation against the Lebanese nation," Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.
Speaking during a conference titled, "Zionist Aggression: Regional and Global Consequences" in Teheran, Mottaki said the resolution was worded in Israel's favor.
"The resolution considers Lebanon responsible for starting the crisis. It talks about a cease-fire while ignoring the withdrawal of Israeli forces."
The draft resolution circulated Saturday by the United States and France does not include an Israeli withdrawal. It calls for "a full cessation of hostilities" based on "the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said the draft resolution favored Israel and asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to move quickly for an immediate cease-fire to the crisis, state-run television reported Monday.
Ahmadinejad also asked Annan in a telephone conversation to recognize the Lebanese resistance, according to state-run television.
Hezbollah warned Saturday that it will not abide by the resolution unless Israel withdraws from Lebanon entirely and indicated the lack of a timetable for such a withdrawal was perhaps the biggest sticking point with the text.
"It is natural that we demand a stop to an invasion. We support any consensus that all Lebanese agree on," Mottaki told some 50 attendees, mostly from Muslim countries, and Tehran-based Muslim ambassadors.
During the gathering, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, praised Hezbollah and urged Islamic countries to support the group at meeting of Muslim parliamentarians in Damascus later this month.
Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham described the draft resolution as a threat to the entire region.
"We consider the positioning of NATO forces on Lebanon's soil, if realized, as a threat to the entire region. International bodies should approve a resolution that addresses the roots of the problem fairly," he said.
The draft resolution calls for establishing a buffer zone in south Lebanon where only Lebanese and international forces would be allowed.
Iran and Syria are Hizbullah's two state-sponsors.
Israel contends that the new long-range missiles Hizbullah is firing deep into Israeli territory are provided by Iran and possibly manned by Iranian military advisers.
Iran has repeatedly denied providing military assistance to Hizbullah, but openly expresses support for it in its fight against Israel.
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