U.S. lawmakers: Lebanon's embrace of Ahmadinejad may affect military aid

U.S. representatives renew opposition to transfer of $100 million in U.S. assistance to Lebanon in wake of visit by Iran President, Lebanese daily reports.
Iranian president receives honorary doctorate from university in Beirut before visiting 'capital of resistance' Bint Jbeil; Hezbollah rallies crowds, students skip school. 'West wants monopoly on nuclear energy,' he says

published 14.10.10

Hezbollah supporters used mosque loudspeakers Thursday to rally crowds ahead of a trip by Iran's president to southern Lebanon near the border with Israel, a visit the US and Israel have called intentionally provocative.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday to a rapturous welcome organized by Hezbollah. His country is the main patron of the Shiite militant group, the most powerful military force in Lebanon.

On Thursday, Ahmadinejad is scheduled to make a trip to the Shiite heartland in the south and the Israeli border, which will emphasize Iran's support for Hezbollah's fight with Israel.

In the morning hours he visited the state-run Lebanese University, where he received an honorary doctorate.

In his speech, Ahmadinejad said nuclear power can "benefit humanity. It can be used in at least 16 different fields, such as medicine, industry and agriculture. But what are they (US) doing with it? You know very well. They made a nuclear bomb, but on the other hand prevented this possibility from other nations.

"As for us (Iran), we met with the Europeans. The European side stressed that maybe in another 10 years they'll agree that we learn this technology. But at the same time they are using this technology for their own purposes," he said.

Ahmadinejad added, "If Lebanon had two or three nuclear power plants, the energy costs in Lebanon would be one-seventh of what they are now. Today, to advance nuclear energy in Lebanon, you need the West's approval. The West wants a monopoly on this technology."

The Iranian leader continued to attack the West, saying, "What did they do in Afghanistan? They conquered it in a few days, and look what they've done in the nine years since then. Did you the see the American forces kill 100 people at an Afghan wedding? They said, 'There were terrorists there.' They bombed an entire village. We asked: Why? They said, 'There were terrorists there.'"

The Lebanese daily An-Nahar on Thursday quoted sources in the U.S. Congress as renewing opposition to U.S. military assistance to Lebanon. The renewed opposition comes in the midst of a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Lebanon.

In August, two key Democrats, Representatives Nita Lowey and Howard Berman, announced they were holding up $100 million that had been approved for Lebanon's army but not yet spent. At the time, lawmakers said they were blocking U.S. funding due to a deadly border clash between Lebanon and Israel.

According to An-Nahar, Lowey and Berman vehemently oppose the transfer of the funds, scheduled for next month, in light of the warm welcome with which Ahmadinejad was received in Lebanon.

On Wednesday, the U.S. expressed concern over Ahmadinejad's two-day visit to Lebanon, saying support for Hezbollah militants undermines Lebanese sovereignty.

Ahmadinejad is continuing his "provocative ways," the White House said in a statement Wednesday.

"He continues his provocative ways, even as he leaves his county in further economic stress and turmoil as a result of his actions that have led to international sanctions that are having a great impact," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Gibbs was referring to UN Security Council sanctions placed on Iran over its alleged refusal to come clean about its nuclear activities suspected by the West as intended to develop a bomb. Tehran says the program is purely for peaceful purposes.

"We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. "We would hope that no visitor would do anything or say anything that would give cause to greater tension or instability in that country."




By: aydeo (15210.38)

Tags: Lebanon,embrace, Ahmadinejad, affect,U.S,military aid

Your account has no permission to add replies to this thread!
Liveleak opposes racial slurs - if you do spot comments that fall into this category, please report.

Liveleak on Facebook