Foreign Ministry: Ahmadinejad bears a violent message

On two-day Lebanon visit, Iranian president receives honorary doctorate, slams Western "monopoly" on peaceful nuclear power, heads to south of country to visit Second Lebanon War sites.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
October 14, 2010 15:12
3 minute read.
Ahmadinejad receives an honorary degree in Lebanon

Ahmadinejad Lebanese university 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's two-day visit to Lebanon is intentionally provocative. "It is quite clear that he is the bearer of a violent message. He comes to a highly volatile region with the intention to play with fire," he said.

He added that the visit "emphasizes that a state within a state has emerged in Lebanon over the last few years," referring obviously to the Hizbullah state.

RELATED:
Editorial: Ahmadinejad's victory tour
Israeli official: Ahmadinejad in Lebanon is like a 'landlord visiting his domain'

"It seems that after he stole votes in Teheran, he is now coming here to steal the whole country,” the spokesman said.

Nonetheless, thousands of cheering Lebanese welcomed Ahmadinejad when he arrived on Wednesday, throwing rose petals and sweets at his motorcade. Hizbullah supporters used mosque loudspeakers Thursday to rally crowds ahead of a trip by Iran's president to southern Lebanon near the border with Israel.

Ahmadinejad was scheduled to make a trip to Lebanon's Shi'ite heartland in the south and the Israeli border, which will emphasize Iran's support for Hizbullah's fight with Israel.

Residents of southern Lebanese were heading to Bint Jbeil, a border village that was bombed during the Second Lebanon War to greet the Iranian president Thursday afternoon.

Many students in the south skipped school Thursday to await Ahmadinejad.

Not everyone welcomed Ahmadinejad, however. A group of 250 politicians, lawyers and activists sent an open letter to Ahmadinejad on Tuesday, criticizing Teheran's backing of Hizbullah and expressing worry Iran was looking to drag Lebanon into a war with Israel.

"One group in Lebanon draws power from you ... and has wielded it over another group and the state," the letter said, addressing Ahmadinejad.

"Your talk of 'changing the face of the region starting with Lebanon' and 'wiping Israel off the map through the force of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon' ... makes it seem like your visit is that of a high commander to his front line," it said.

Ahmadinejad receives honorary doctorate


Ahmadinejad was awarded an honorary doctorate in political sciences from the Lebanese University in Beirut on Thursday, according to a Press TV report. During his speech at the university, Ahmadinejad reportedly accused the West of blocking other countries from accessing peaceful nuclear technology.

“They have deprived other nations of this technology and have monopolized it,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

The Iranian leader also slammed the US for its military policies in the Middle East, accusing Washington of killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan under the guise of the War on Terror.

"Investing hope in Britain, the US and other Western countries to resolve problems in the region is useless since they happen to be among those that founded the Zionist regime… and definitely cannot play the role of a mediator," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Earlier on Thursday, Ahmadinejad called on all religious scholars and leaders to come together in solving challenges facing human societies during a meeting with Lebanese scholars, clerics and religious leaders on the second and last day of his visit to Lebanon, Press TV reported.

“Scholars of divine religions can put major challenges facing human societies on the agenda to find … solutions to them,” Ahmadinejad said, according to the Press TV report.

"All divine religions guide mankind to prosperity and invite human societies to monotheism, justice and friendship," he added.

'Iran's domination of Lebanon has destroyed any chance for peace'

Government spokesman Mark Regev slammed the trip Thursday, saying "Iran's domination of Lebanon through its proxy Hizbullah has destroyed any chance for peace, has turned Lebanon into an Iranian satellite and made Lebanon a hub for regional terror and instability."

On Wednesday evening, Hizbullah held a General Assembly meeting and mass rally in Beirut in honor of Ahamdinejad. Speaking to the assembled supporters at the event via an interpreter, Ahmadinejad praised Lebanon for being an "example" and called it a "university for Jihad." Lebanon and Iran, he said, are "two nations that love each other and have much in common," primarily the fight against Israel.

He went on to speak about the "Zionist regime," attacking Israel for "the massacre of innocent people" and "violations of international law."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Anti-government protesters demonstrate on a street in central Ankara
June 16, 2013
Thousands take to streets of Istanbul, defy Erdogan

By REUTERS