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Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani ( right) rejected the indictments against Hezbollah members in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

“We know that the United States was opposed to the establishment of a government led by Najib Mikati, but they failed due to the vigilance of Lebanon’s leaders. Now they created the tribunal, which they use as a tool to express their dissatisfaction with the new government,” Larijani said during an official visit to Azerbaijan

“The Americans feel they have been slapped in the face and they are seeking to make up a story” by indicting Hezbollah members, Larijani added.

According to observers Larijani’s reaction was expected because if Hezbollah did in fact execute the murder , it could not have done so without the knowledge of the top Iranian leadership. When Hariri was assassinated Larijani was the security adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ultimate authority. Larijani also is a former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards , the group that created Hezbollah in 1982

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued the indictments in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri on Thursday. An STL delegation met with Lebanon’s state prosecutor Said Mirza on Thursday and handed him a copy of the Lebanon portion of the indictment and the arrest warrants. Two of the suspects Mustafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash are reportedly senior members of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah while the other two Hassan Aneissy, also known as Hassan Issa, and Assad Sabra played a supporting role in the execution of the assassination

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah denounced on several occasions the court as a conspiracy by the U.S. and Israel and said last year that the group “will cut off the hand” of anyone who tries to arrest its party members linked to the February 14, 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

Photos: Two of the prime suspects in the murder of former PM Rafik Hariri Mustafa Badreddine top and Salim Ayyash bottom. Both are senior members of the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah

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