Iran: Aoun’s election a victory for Hezbollah

Newly elected Lebanese President Michel Aoun reviews the honour guards upon arrival to the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon October 31, 2016. (Reuters)

Iran welcomed the election of Michel Aoun as Lebanon’s new president on Monday, calling it a victory for the Shiite group Hezbollah, Tehran’s ally in Lebanon.

Aoun, a leader of Lebanon’s Christian community, secured the post in a parliamentary vote, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum in a deal with Sunni leader Saad al-Hariri, who is now expected to become prime minister.

"The election of Michel Aoun as president shows new support for the Islamic resistance (against Israel)," Ali Akbar Velayati, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top foreign policy adviser, was quoted as saying by Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

"This is surely a victory for Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of (Hezbollah and) Islamic Resistance in Lebanon."

Iran helped create Hezbollah in the early 1980s, when it fought Israeli forces that had invaded Lebanon.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani congratulated Aoun, a former army commander, in a phone call, an official in Rouhani’s office tweeted, calling it a victory for resistance and for ethnic tolerance in Lebanon.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also called Aoun to congratulate him, the group’s al-Manar TV station reported.

Regarding the impact of the election on the Syrian crisis, Khamenei’s advisor said Aoun’s election will affect the Syrian conflict because of what he called “the positive role of aid in support of the resistance front in Syria.”

Velayati stressed that Lebanon is important in a series of what he called "resistance" that begin from Iran and include countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine.

The top advisor did not mention support to any other Lebanese blocs and parties, including the Future Movement led by Saad al-Hariri, but stressed that support for Hezbollah and its insistence on the nomination of Aoun is what led to his election as President of Lebanon.

*A version of this article can be found at AlArabiya.Net

(With Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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