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Ahmadinejad wraps up visit to Lebanon with venomous speeches

Visit condemned by US, Israel as needlessly provocative

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Ahmadinejad wraps up visit to Lebanon with venomous speeches

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Lebanon a “university for jhihad” during a speech at a Hizbullah rally in Beirut Wednesday evening, adding that Iran and Lebanon have “much in common," primarily the fight against Israel, as well as accusing Israel of "the massacre of innocent people" and "violations of international law."

Ahmadinejad was treated as an honored guest at several venues all over Lebanon on the second day of his visit Thursday, including the Lebanese University of Beirut where he received an honorary doctorate in political sciences. He used that occasion to give a speech in which he lashed out at Western powers for their interference in the Islamic Republic’s renegade nuclear program.

“They have deprived other nations of (Nuclear) technology and have monopolized it,” Ahmadinejad charged, adding accusations that the US had slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East in the name of its “War on terror.”

He used an earlier speaking engagement to urge ecumenical interfaith dialogue as a way to solve humanities collective problems, insisting that "All divine religions guide mankind to prosperity and invite human societies to monotheism, justice and friendship."

"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," said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.

Ahmadinejad in Lebanon is “like a landlord coming to inspect his domain,” Foreign Minister spokesman Yigal Palmor agreed. “He is bringing a message of violence and extremism, and his presence makes it even clearer that Hizbullah, at the order of the Iranians, has built a state within a state. This is far removed from Lebanese interests.”

“We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I think that it also suggests that Hizbullah values its allegiance to Iran over its allegiance to Lebanon,” agreed White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

“This visit shows Hizbullah’s growing dependence on Iran,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. “The IDF’s eyes are wide open. Lebanon could cease being an independent country, and we must follow what is taking place from the intelligence and military perspectives.”


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