Nasrallah holds talks in Iran

Hizb Allah chief Hasan Nasrallah held talks in Iran after his Shia Muslim party joined the Lebanese government for the first time amid UN demands for the disarmament of its military wing.

    Ties between Tehran and the Lebanese party are close

    Nasrallah met outgoing reformist President Mohammad Khatami, his successor Mahmood Ahmadinejad and his defeated election opponent Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iranian media reported.

    "Hizb Allah has a place in the heart of the Islamic world and Iranians follow closely the role of Hizb Allah in Lebanese developments," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling the Hizb Allah leader.

    Ahmadinejad support

    Backed by Iran and Syria in its long campaign of resistance to Israel's 22-year occupation of south Lebanon, Hizb Allah faces a UN Security Council demand for the disarmament of its military wing which still exclusively patrols the formerly Israeli-occupied south.

    The group was among the first to hail Ahmadinejad's upset election victory, describing it as a slap in the face for the United States, which sponsored last September's resolution along with France.

    "The big success of the election was the size of the turnout, which shows the Iranian people's independence of mind and its determination to confront its enemies, particularly US plans to destabilize Iran," Hizb Allah said.

    On 19 July, Hizb Allah MP Mohammed Fneich was sworn in as energy minister, the first time the group had joined the Lebanese government.



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