TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Hezbollah has “hoisted the banner of victory” over Israel and toppled U.S.-led plans for the Middle East.
Iran and Syria are the main backers of the Islamic militant group. Ahmadinejad struck a tone similar to an earlier address in Damascus by Syrian President Bashar Assad, who said Washington’s plans for the region have become “an illusion” after the 34-day conflict in Lebanon ended Monday with a cease-fire.
“God’s promises have come true,” Ahmadinejad told a huge crowd in Arbadil in northwestern Iran. “On one side, it’s corrupt powers of the criminal U.S. and Britain and the Zionists …. with modern bombs and planes. And on the other side is a group of pious youth relying on God.”
Both sides claimed success after more than a month of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah ended Monday with a cease-fire. Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah declared “strategic, historic victory” against Israel. But Israel and its main backer, the United States portrayed the Islamic militant group as the loser — and by extension, its main backers, Iran and Syria.
Ahmadinejad said Hezbollah foiled plans for nations seeking “to create the so-called new Middle East … a Middle East that would be under the domination the U.S., Britain and Zionists.”
“The people of the region are also after the new Middle East but a Middle East that is free from U.S. and British domination,” he told the crowd, which including many people waving Hezbollah banners and Iranian flags.
“They imagined that they can destroy the unity and resistance of the Lebanese people and stabilize their power but failed,” he said.
He said the Hezbollah resistance also destroyed the image of Israel as an unbeatable military power.
“(Israel) was defeated … and (Hezbollah) hoisted the banner of victory,” he said.