Lebanon, Iran rule out any links between Hizbullah and al-Qaeda
Iran and Lebanon on Monday expressed their opposition to a probable US attack on Iraq, saying Washington used the threat to cover Israeli atrocities in the Middle East and boost American presence in the region.
According to IRNA, the remarks came as Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, on a one-day visit in Lebanon from Syria, met with his Lebanese peer, Mahmoud Hammoud, to review regional and international issues as well as ties between Tehran and Beirut.
"We are opposed to an American military attack on Iraq and believe that the Security Council Resolution 1441 on disarming Iraq is sufficient to implement UN demands," Hammoud said. He rejected as "baseless" the Israeli claims that members of al-Qaeda were operating with Hizbullah in Lebanon.
"There is no ground for al-Qaeda members to establish links with the Lebanese people or Hizbullah, be it at the ideological or political level," Kharrazi conveyed.
"America, by supporting Israel, is seeking to control political and security situation in the Middle East and dominate economic and oil resources of the region," Kharrazi said. He added the United States used the September 11 attack on American landmarks as a pretext to expand its presence in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
The Iranian foreign minister warned Islamic governments against "falling in the American trap" and urged them to take a lesson from the "example of the Lebanese resistance" which succeeded to drive out Israel from their lands by relying on indigenous resources. "(Israeli Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon has intensified its repressive and iron-fisted policies against the Palestinian people in the wake of the Iraqi crisis," Kharrazi said.
He reiterated the need for Lebanon, Iran and Syria to coordinate their lines against Israel and "protect interests of the regional countries".
"The deterrent role of Tehran, Damascus and Beirut has prevented Israel from achieving its objectives," Kharrazi said, according to IRNA.
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