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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Iran to Hizbullah: Curb attacks on Israel

Ynet: Arabic language newspaper reports Iran was warned by European country that Israel is ready to attack targets in Syria in campaign to liquidate Hizbullah; Tehran sends foreign minister to Damascus to demand Hizbullah curtail attacks against Israel

ranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was sent to Damascus to urge Hizbullah to curb rocket attacks against Israel and to release two Israel Defense Forces soldiers captured a week ago in order to avoid further escalations, a London-based Arabic daily reported.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that a European country warned Iran that Israel is ready for a confrontation with Syria, which recently signed a defense alliance with Iran.

The alliance stipulates that Iran would send arms and troops to back Syria should Damascus be attacked.

Iran was also warned that Israel is determined to crush Hizbullah's infrastructure and liquidate its leadership.

Lebanese criticism

The report, which was based on leaks by an Iranian presidential aide, said Iran is worried by criticism waged against Hizbullah by an array of Lebanese politicians like Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and Saad Hariri, son of slain former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

The trio outspokenly attacked Hizbullah for being Iran's proxy and condemned as "irresponsible" the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

The official said: "Iran enjoyed a good reputation among the Lebanese for supporting Hizbullah. Today, many of our allies have turned their backs on us."

In a letter to his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is ready to defend Syria against Israeli attacks.
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