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Iran not playing chess with US in Lebanon: Larijani

Beirut, Jan 18, IRNA-Iran is not playing chess with the US in Lebanon, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani said.

The Lebanese press on Thursday published reports quoting Larijani while talking to Lebanese reporters in Tehran.

"Iran has no intention of making Lebanon a regional battleground," he said.

"The continuing crisis in Lebanon is a domestic issue that can only be solved politically," he added.

He said Iran and Saudi Arabia were agreed on the need to settle the crisis in Lebanon.

He said "the existence of a powerful, stable and broad-based government in Lebanon is important for Iran," adding that Tehran will provide all-out aid to Beirut to make this happen.

The SNSC secretary praised Saudi Arabia's firm policy calling for understanding among religious sects, particularly between Shi'ites and Sunnis, and stressed that foreign states are behind attempts to create a gulf between Iran and Arab states.

On the outcome of his recent visit to Riyadh, Larijani said that during his visit the two sides discussed topics such as expansion of ties between the two countries, regional developments including taking measures to prevent the religious strife in the region from expanding, Iran's peaceful nuclear case and major events in the international scene.

Iranian and Saudi officials agreed on ways to provide help to Lebanon to prevent a civil war in the country, he said, and added that Iran does not think such a war is likely because of Lebanon's entirely different situation from that of other countries.

Larijani stressed that Tehran and Riyadh were both agreed on the need to reinforce Muslim unity.

He said the victory of the Lebanese resistance in last year's war against the Zionist regime was a turning point in the history of Arab states, adding it was a matter of honor for Arab states and Muslims.

He urged establishment of a national unity government in Lebanon to confront certain contradictions in UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that established the ceasefire between Lebanon and the Zionist regime.

The SNSC secretary accused the US and the Zionist regime of fanning religious differences in Lebanon and the entire region.

... Payvand News - 1/18/07 ... --

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