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Ahmadinejad (L) and Suleiman in Tehran
Photo: AP
Report: Iran to supply Lebanon with 'defensive weaponry'
During visit to Tehran, President Suleiman informed Islamic Republic plans to help boost Lebanese army's defense capabilities, help it in its 'fight against terror'

Iran has informed Lebanese President Michel Suleiman that is plans to equip his country with "defensive weapons", subject to an internal Lebanese agreement regarding its "defense strategy", a source close to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying Thursday by the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat.

 

According to the report, Suleiman, who is on a two-day visit to Tehran, was told that the Islamic Republic would aid the Lebanese army in the "fight against terror" and arm it with weapons to increase the speed and flexibility in dealing with any security incident.

 

The source said Ahmadinejad told Suleiman that the "governmental and national ties between Iran and Lebanon are limitless", adding that the leaders agreed to revive agreements that had been signed between the countries about a decade ago but have yet to be implemented due to the internal situation in Lebanon.

 

A source affiliated with Hizbullah said prior to Suleiman's visit to Iran, his first since being elected president half-a-year ago, that Iran may offer supplying Lebanon with missiles.

 

'Our army must be strong'

In his most recent speech Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah demanded to equip the Lebanese army with advanced anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles in the framework of what he said was a necessary "defense strategy".

 

He said the current goal of his organization and the Lebanese army was armament.

 

"Our army must be strong, and therefore must be well-trained and well-equipped, and not only with assault rifles and grenades," the Shiite group leader said in his speech, which was delivered on the occasion of "Shahid Day" some two weeks ago.

 

"Our army must first acquire an aerial defense system and anti-tank weaponry."

 

According to Nasrallah, an army that does not possess anti-tank missiles is merely a "body that deals with internal security", adding that the government "must make equipping the army a top priority. If it does not, it means that a key element of its defense strategy has failed."

 

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