Khamenei for Lebanese unity vs. Israel

Iranian supreme leader says "resistance" to Israel has made Lebanon a role model for the Arab world.

Khamenei with a halo 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Khamenei with a halo 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Tuesday on Lebanon's disparate ethnic groups to unite against their common enemy - Israel - the Iranian IRNA news agency reported. "The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the power of all Lebanese groups should be at the service of the country's national unity to counter the danger of the Zionist regime," Khamenei told visiting Lebanese President Michel Suleiman. Khamenei, lauding the Maronite Catholic Suleiman's support of Islamic militancy and his efforts to establish unity in Lebanon, promised that Iran would always side with Beirut, and stressed the high significance of Lebanon enjoys despite its small size. One such instance of "exemplary" coexistence of religious groups in Lebanon, he said, was the "historic victory" over Israel in 2006's Second Lebanon War. "Over the past 60 years, none of the Muslim and Arab states have been able to face the Zionist regime, but people in Lebanon managed to break this myth and drive the Israeli army out of their soil," he said. Khamenei added that Lebanon had turned into a role model for other Muslim nations due to its "resistance" to Israeli "aggressions," saying, "During the 33-day war period, many Muslims in the Islamic and Arab states chanted slogans in support of Lebanese Hizbullah, especially... [its leader Hassan] Nasrallah." The top cleric went on to voice support for the repatriation of Palestinian refugees living in Arab states. He said that although certain people supposed that repatriation of the Palestinian refugees was impossible, they would definitely return to their homeland. Suleiman thanked the Iranian government and nation for supporting Lebanon, especially during and after the Second Lebanon War, and called Teheran's role in solving Lebanon's domestic problems "valuable."