Change Region:South Africa

Ahmadinejad visit comes as fears of renewed civil war haunt Lebanon

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Ahmadinejad visit comes as fears of renewed civil war haunt Lebanon

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is poised to pay a high-profile visit to Lebanon on Wednesday, a move that is sure to bring added tensions to a country already fearing renewed civil war. Ahmadinejad will tour southern Lebanon, which he recently called "Iran's border with Israel." Ahmadinejad’s smiling face can already be seen emblazoned on dozens of giant billboards mounted on overpasses and hundreds of smaller placards along highways near the Israeli border. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah insisted on Saturday that Lebanon should thank Iran for helping to rebuild Beirut's southern suburbs and south Lebanon after the 2006 war with Israel. "Where did this money come from? From donations? No, frankly from Iran." Officials close to Hizbullah say it spent about $1 billion of Iranian money since 2006 on aid and rebuilding. His visit comes as fears of a renewed civil war are rising and reports are revealing that residents in Beirut are arming themselves in preparation for possible civil strife between Shi'ite loyalists of Hizbullah and Sunni and Christian supporters of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his pro-West "March 14" coalition. It has been widely reported that several top Hizbullah operatives will likely be indicted for the 2005 murder of Hariri's popular father, prime minister Rafik Hariri.

 

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