Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi on Sunday told visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that his country was ready to help the Lebanese army, state television's website reported. "We have stated on several occasions, and we say it again today, that we stand alongside the Lebanese army and are prepared to cooperate" with it, Vahidi said during a meeting with the Lebanese leader, the report said.
Hariri for his part voiced optimism that his visit would enhance cooperation between Iran and Lebanon in the field of defense. "The stability, security and unity of Lebanon play a very important role in resolving regional and internal issues. Therefore, I wanted to come to Iran and see your defense achievements, even though it is contrary to the position of our enemies," Hariri was quoted as saying.
The Iranian minister slammed a UN tribunal probing the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, former premier Rafiq Hariri, while condemning his killers as "enemies of Lebanon." "Today, some from outside Lebanon seek to take the security of Lebanon hostage, in the form of the tribunal," Vahidi said.