Iranian VP lands in Beirut for `solidarity' visit

Iran's vice president arrived in Beirut on Tuesday for talks with Lebanese officials over ways Iran could help rebuild Lebanon after more than a month of Israeli airstrikes. Ali Saeedlou crossed into Lebanon from neighboring Syria, leading a large Iranian delegation that also included Housing Minister Mohammad Saeedi Kia. They were met at the border by Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh. Iran, a primary source of money and weapons for Hizbullah, was widely believed to have opened its treasury for Lebanon's reconstruction, which was being spearheaded by the guerrilla group. Hizbullah has been giving out cash - $12,000 to people who lost their homes in the Israeli bombing campaign. More than 15,000 housing units were destroyed, the group estimated. Saeedlou, who said he was on a "solidarity" visit met with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud in the capital.