Iranian president extends visit till Friday, report


As-Safir newspaper reported on Wednesday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has extended his visit to Lebanon until Friday to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is expected to visit Lebanon on Friday.

As Safir’s report was not confirmed by other dailies in Lebanon , but the paper is known to be closely linked to Iran and Syria.

Ahmadinejad arrived in Beirut on Wednesday where he was received by Speaker Nabih Berri a close ally of the Iranian backed Hezbollah

“A Lebanese-Iranian-Turkish meeting is expected to take place in Beirut to discuss the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)’s [pending] indictment,” As Safir sources sources were quoted as saying.

Although Ahmadinejad was sure to receive a huge welcome from Hezbollah and its allies, his trip has sparked criticism among Lebanon’s parliamentary majority who see it as a bid to portray Lebanon as “an Iranian base on the Mediterranean.”

Prior to departing Tehran, Ahmadinejad said that the purpose of his visit to strengthen relations with Lebanon.

“Lebanon is the focus point of Resistance and standing against those who demand too much,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on the state television’s website prior to departing to Lebanon.

“It is playing an excellent role in this regard,” he added