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Iranian President Rejects U.N. Resolution - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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TEHRAN, Iran, AP -Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday rejected the U.N. Security Council resolution giving Iran until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment. Ahmadinejad added that Tehran will pursue its nuclear program.

in other news, Iran’s foreign minister blasted the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday for failing to stop the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, and he called the United States and Israel “partners in these brutal crimes” against Lebanese civilians.

“The U.N. Security Council has proven its uselessness and ineffectiveness during this (Israeli) aggression,” Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters after meeting with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, a strong Hezbollah ally.

He also accused the United States, without naming it, of complicity in bringing about the death and destruction caused by Israel’s 20-day-old offensive in Lebanon.

“We think that the protectors of the Zionist entity and those who support it are partners in these brutal crimes being committed against the innocent women and children” of Lebanon, Mottaki said.

He arrived in Lebanon on Monday in the first visit by an Iranian official to Lebanon since the latest fighting erupted between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. He traveled over land from neighboring Syria since the country’s only international airport was bombed in the first days of the war.

Iran and Syria are the principal sponsors of Hezbollah, and the two countries have applauded the group’s July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers, which triggered the Israeli offensive that has killed hundreds of Lebanese, most of them civilians.

On Monday night, Mottaki met with the foreign ministers of Lebanon and France. Both meetings occurred at the Iranian Embassy late Monday, and participants made no comments to the press.

Mottaki’s visit coincided with a call on Muslim states by a top Iranian hard-line cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, to provide weapons to Hezbollah to fight Israel, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.

“Now, it is expected that Muslim states not spare any assistance to Hezbollah and the Lebanese people, especially providing weapons, medicine and food,” Jannati told ISNA.

It was not immediately clear if Jannati’s comments represented the Iranian government. Jannati is the head of the powerful Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog arbitrating between the parliament and the Iranian government.

It was not immediately known if Mottaki planned to meet Hezbollah’s leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, as he has on past visits to Lebanon.

Nasrallah has gone underground since the fighting began three weeks ago. Israeli warplanes have destroyed his residence and office in south Beirut, but he since has given televised speeches.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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