BEIRUT, May 27 (MNA) – Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi asserted here on Thursday that Iran is sure Lebanon will pass this sensitive and historical juncture by relying on its cultured people and brave politicians.

“I am confident that the cultured Lebanese people and brave officials will emerge successfully at this historical and sensitive stage,” Kharrazi told reporters in a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Mahmud Hamud.


Lebanon is going to hold the first round of its parliamentary elections on May 29.


Kharrazi arrived in Beirut on Thursday on a two-day visit to hold talks with the country's officials as well as religious leaders.


Unity among different groups and efforts to support the resistance are the key to the success of the Lebanese nation, Iran’s top diplomat insisted.


Kharrazi said that Lebanon has found a special case after the adoption of the UN 1559 Resolution last year which led to the pullout of Syrian forces from this country.


Now that the Syrian forces have left the responsibilities of the resistance groups and police forces have doubled for maintaining the territorial integrity and unity of the nation, he noted, adding this responsibility is necessary as the Zionist regime continues its occupation policies.


Kharrazi announced that the UN 1559 Resolution demanding that militias in Lebanon disarm does not apply to Hizbollah “Because Hezbollah is a resistance movement and not a militia.”


As the Lebanese officials have clearly stated Iran has no militia in Lebanon, foreign minister stressed. “There are only resistance groups from among the native people who form a strong force in the face of threats against Lebanon.”


“It is the right of the Lebanese nation to continue resistance as there is constant aggression by the Zionist regime. No government or nation will deprive itself of its capabilities.”


The Iranian top diplomat asserted that it was due to this resistance that the Lebanese nation succeeded to liberate significant parts of its land from the occupation of Israel five years ago.


On May 25, 2000, resistance forces succeeded to push back the invaders from South Lebanon.


He expressed hope all the occupied territories would be liberated by the Lebanese resistance.


All the Lebanese officials believe that resistance is the real “capital” of Lebanon in the face of occupiers and it should be tightly guarded, he observed.


Kharrazi rejected claims on Iran’s interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs, saying other forces interfere in the country’s affairs.


“Iran’s presence is felt in the heart of the people. Iran’s presence is spiritual. This relation includes all Lebanese groups irrespective of being Shia, Sunni, Druze, Christian… is soft.”


Disarming Hezbollah only benefits the Zionist regime, he commented.


Kharrazi said Hezbollah is playing a leading role in the Lebanese resistance in the face of Zionist invasions and enjoys respect by all Lebanese groups and tribes.


Hezbollah belongs to the whole nation, he underscored.


Kharrazi put a great emphasis on the unity of the Lebanese nation as it is facing key parliamentary elections and confronts foreign interference. “It is necessary to maintain the unity of the nation so that Lebanon can pass the route of development victoriously.”


Kharrazi holds talks with Lebanese President 


In separate talks with Lebanese President Emil Lahoud, Parliament Speaker Nabi Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Hezbollah chief Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah and other senior officials, Kharrazi stressed the sensitivity of the time and the need to maintain the unity of the nation.


In his meeting with President Emil Lahoud, Iran’s FM again stressed that Lebanon is facing a sensitive and historical test at this particular juncture, adding that Lebanon should be very careful to neutralize all plots by the enemies.


Kharrazi said that Iran has always been at the side of the Lebanese nation and it will continue to do so in the future.


As the U.S. continues its support for Israel, the Lebanese nation and officials should safeguard their power of resistance, he added.


Lahoud said that there is no conflict between different Lebanese groups, adding that unity among the nation plays a key role as the country is facing a historical test.


The Lebanese president noted Israel was not able to infiltrate the ranks of his nation, asserting that the Zionist regime does not want peace but intends to create crises.


Lahoud stressed the role of resistance forces in the face of threats, noting “The weapon of resistance is the weapon of the Lebanese people.”


He said that the murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri in a terrorist act had greatly shocked his nation.


The President noted that his country is moving seriously in the path of peace and security.


Kharrazi says parliament should help foster unity among Lebanese people


In his meeting with the Lebanese parliament speaker, Kharrazi said that the parliament plays a key role in Lebanon’s politics.


Fostering unity among the Lebanese nation should be put high on the parliament’s agenda as it is preparing to hold its first stage of parliamentary elections, he said.


Iran FM, Lebanon PM stress promotion of ties


In a meeting with the Lebanese Prime Minister, Kharrazi and Mikati discussed issues of mutual interest as well as regional developments.


The Lebanese premier lauded Iran's support for the Lebanese people and its government which led to the liberalization of a great part of the country.


He also called for further strengthening of mutual relations in various fields mainly in the economic sector.


After the meeting, Kharrazi told reporters that the two sides exchanged views on expansion of economic and commercial cooperation.


The greatest asset of the Lebanese people is their resistance to the Zionist regime, Kharrazi said.


Underlining the need for all Lebanese ethnic groups to maintain their unity, he said the move can ensure the country's success and development.


Kharrazi meets bereaved family of Hariri


Kharrazi also visited the household of the murdered Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri to express condolences in person on behalf of the Iranian nation.


The Iranian foreign minister held talks with the widow and son of Hariri who is running for parliament.


Praising Hariri for masterminding and pioneering the development of Lebanon, he noted that Hariri always maintained the unity of the nation and was a defender of the Lebanese resistance.  


Hariri was assassinated in a car bomb on February 14 in Beirut.


 Lebanon's Jumblatt terms Iran role in intl. dialogue as positive


Lebanese Druze opposition leader Walid Jumblatt in a meeting with Kharrazi here Friday assessed Iran's role in regional and international dialogue as positive and effective.


Jumblatt hoped the Lebanese officials' consultations with the Islamic Republic would bear constructive outcomes.


He pointed to the achievements of Lebanon's resistance movement in liberating the southern parts of the country from the Israeli occupation and stressed the importance of safeguarding this national strength to protect the country’s future.


He added that Lebanon is the first Arab state which has been able to release its territory from the Zionists’ occupation with no peace pact and under no preconditions.


Jumblatt recalled the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, and said Lebanon's resistance movement would act as a strong fortress in preventing the aggressions of the Zionist regime.


Therefore, the pulling out of Syrian troops never means that Lebanon is now in the danger zone of the Zionist regime, he added.


Kharrazi, for his part, expressed hope all Lebanese groups and parties would resist the enemies through unity and solidarity.


The Iranian minister is also to hold separate meetings with the religious leader of the Lebanese Maronite Christians Nasrallah Safir and Lebanon's Mufti Mohammed Rashid Qabbani on Friday.









News Code 11451

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