PHOTO: Lebanon’s new President, Michel Aoun, with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Iran’s regime is celebrating the selection of Christian politician Michel Aoun as Lebanon’s President, filling a two-year vacancy.
Aoun is allied with Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia Muslim faction backed by Tehran.
President Rouhani was quick to call Aoun, who was driven out of the Presidential Palace by Syrian-led troops in 1990. He returned to Lebanon in 2005 after the withdrawal of Syrian forces.
Rouhani congratulated Aoun on his victory in the Lebanese Parliament, offering praise:
You have taken this responsibility in a very sensitive era; an era in which the region is facing two threats of growing Takfiri movements and terrorist groups, as well as the cupidity of the Zionist regime.
We are sure that your election will further strengthen the resistance front of Lebanon against these two threats.
The Supreme Leader’s top advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati, was even more forthcoming in hailing the Hezbollah connection, proclaiming Aoun’s selection as “a victory for [Hezbollah Secretary General] Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon”:
The country of Lebanon is a very important link in the chain of the Islamic Resistance that starts in Iran and consists of states such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine. The Lebanese President plays a key role in managing the affairs of the country. Therefore, the election of Michel Aoun… shows a serious strengthening of the Islamic Resistance.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Aoun’s selection was an “important step for institutionalizing democracy and ensuring stability in Lebanon” and expressed hope for an “expansion of ties” between Iran and Lebanon “as much as possible”.