Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel on Saturday visited the graves of more than 100 people killed by Israeli artillery shells as he finished a trip to reaffirm Iranian support for Lebanon and the Hizb Allah.

 

Later on Saturday, Haddad Adel went to Damascus where he said he would discuss with Syrian officials "ways of confronting pressure against Iran and Syria", the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

 

On the first leg of his tour, accompanied by Iranian legislators, Haddad Adel went to Qana, 11km north of the Israeli border, where a bombardment killed Lebanese men, women and children taking refuge in a UN base during an Israeli offensive against Hizb Allah rocket attacks in 1996.

 

A UN report found the shelling was "unlikely" to have been an accident, as Israel claimed.

 

Addressing a crowd of Hizb Allah supporters in Qana, Haddad Adel told them in Arabic: "You are not alone because the Iranian nation with its 70 million people is with you."

 

Call for unity

 

Haddad Adel called for unity against what he described as "the ambitions of America and Israel".

 

"You are not alone because the Iranian nation with its 70 million people is with you"

Gholam Ali Haddad Adel,
Iran parliament speaker

Haddad Adel arrived in Lebanon on Thursday as the guest of his Lebanese counterpart, Speaker Nabih Berri. He met Lebanon's president, prime minister and the leader of Hizb Allah, Shaikh Hassan Nasrallah. 

 

A Shia Muslim group, the Hizb Allah has long enjoyed Iranian patronage.

 

On Saturday, Haddad Adel also visited a former detention centre used by Israel's Lebanese allies in the southern village of Khiam, a few kilometres north of Israel.

Israel occupied parts of southern Lebanon for 18 years until withdrawing its forces in 2000. Hizb Allah's campaign against the Israeli occupation is widely credited with f
orcing the withdrawal.


Both Iran and Syria are under US sanctions. The United States accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear bombs and Syria of allowing fighters to cross into Iraq. Iran and Syria deny the charges.