Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Lebanon Welcomes Ahmadinejad: Exceptional Guest, Historic Visit

Only a few hours separate the Lebanese from the big event…

On Wednesday morning, an exceptional guest, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will arrive in Lebanon where a rapturous welcome would be waiting for him, marking the beginning of a two-day historic visit by the Iranian leader to the country of the Resistance…

On Wednesday morning, tens of thousands of Lebanese are expected to gather along the airport highway to welcome Ahmadinejad as he makes his way to central Beirut, where he will be formally received by the President, Michel Sleiman. Ahead of the visit, hundreds of billboards were placed along the highway bearing Ahmadinejad's portrait and carrying a message of welcome in both Arabic and Farsi.

After signing a series of trade and economic agreements with Lebanese leaders, led by the Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and laying a commemorative wreath in Martyrs Square in Beirut, Ahmadinejad is scheduled to appear at a rally in the southern suburb of Beirut. The Iranian President is also expected to visit the South on Thursday where he would attend a number of ceremonies in his honor.

On the eve of the visit, everyone in Lebanon seemed to be waiting for the exceptional guest, amid hopes the visit would be fruitful at all levels, as Israel seemed to be provoked and sought to undermine it.

“Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon achieved one of its goals, annoying Israel and the US administration even before it starts,” political analyst and expert in Iranian affairs Habib Fayyad told Al-Manar website. While recalling how the American have been seeking to prevent the visit, Fayyad noted that its significance resides in the fact that it takes place at the time the US is seeking to compensate its failure in Iraq and Afghanistan through Lebanon.

“The visit puts an end to the new American-Zionist scheme seeking to cow strife and create Sunni-Shiite sedition in Lebanon thanks to the verdict to be issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. It also paves the way for guaranteeing victory in any upcoming Zionist war by providing the Resistance with an unprecedented logistic support.”

The expert in the Iranian affairs said that the visit also comes as a reflection of the tripartite summit which joined in Damascus a few months ago Ahmadinejad with Syrian President Bachar Assad and Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah. “It confirms the agreement that any aggressive act would lead to an unlimited war,” Fayyad said, adding that the visit also proves that Iran, through its government and people, stands at the side of the whole Lebanon.

Meanwhile, after failing in preventing the visit of taking place, the Israeli enemy seemed to be anxious and perplexed on the eve of the visit. “The Lebanese are this first to understand the severe ramifications this visit has for their country. We have no reason to intervene,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor claimed while seeking to explain Israel’s sudden silence. “He will arrive in Lebanon, and everyone understands the significance of this,” he added.

Expert in Israeli affairs Holmi Mussa told Al-Manar website that Israel believes Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon is “provocative” by nature. He explained that Iran constitutes a serious threat for the Zionist entity, recalling that Israeli officials were clear in classifying Iran as one of their main challenges.

Mussa said that the visit enjoys many dimensions. “It’s not like any other official visit. It’s rather a symbolic one. The visit of Ahmadinejad, Israel’s main enemy, to Bent Jbeil specifically near the border with the occupied territories and speaking to the South residents from the same place in which Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah celebrated victory and liberation in 2000 represents in itself a moral challenge.”

Meanwhile, political and military analyst Amin Hoteit said that Ahmadinejad’s upcoming visit to Beirut would display the US failure in its inimical policies and sanctions against Tehran. "The US has imposed certain sanctions against Iran but Ahmadinejad's visit to Beirut will break these sanctions," Hoteid noted, adding that the West, and especially Washington, is deeply concerned about a further growth and advancement of Iran's strategy in the region.

Hoteit said Ahmadinejad, during his visit to Beirut, will reiterate Tehran's support for the Lebanese resistant groups and their allies in the region, and recalled that Iran has always provided spiritual support for the resistance. He pointed out that inking a number of agreements with the Lebanese government by Ahmadinejad will provide physical support for them as well.

He further viewed endorsement of a deal on energy and electricity cooperation between the two countries as the most important agreement to be signed by the two sides, and said Iran and Lebanon are also mulling over the endorsement of a military and security agreement during the visit.

Yet, the analyst pointed out that "concluding such agreements for equipping the Lebanese Army with Iranian weapons is still under study and its endorsement depends on the political conditions of Lebanon and the decision of high-ranking Lebanese commanders".

Whether Americans and Israelis like it or not, the Iranian President will arrive in Lebanon in only a few hours. He will be honored by Lebanese officials who would send a clear message to the whole world, a message of strength and unity, a message of glory and victory…

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