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Hariri: Iran's top security official not welcome in Lebanon

In this June 12, 2009 file photo, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks during an interview at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Lebanon. (Grace Kassab/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Monday that Iran’s top security official was not welcome in Lebanon, questioning the goals behind his visit.

“The visit by the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili is not welcome in this sensitive stage, as the Syrian people face the ugliest massacres and destruction at the hands of Bashar Assad's regime and his foreign protectors,” Hariri said in a statement.

Jalili was on an official visit to Lebanon Monday where he met separately with the country’s top officials: President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

"This visit conflicts with the interests of the Lebanese people who cannot disassociate themselves from standing in solidarity with their brothers in Syria or from the unified Arab stance which is asking for the resignation of Bashar Assad and for Iran to stop interfering in Arab affairs in general and those of Syria and Lebanese in particular,” Hariri said.

Hariri added that he was suspicious of the goals of Jalili’s visit as well as its timing, which he said came after threats from the political and military leadership of Iran in which they warned against attacks on Syria.

“In any case, Iran should know that all these threats and suspicious moves will not work in delaying the inevitable fall of Bashar Assad,” the head of the Future Movement said.

 

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