Ahmadinejad: Iran, Lebanon militants can stand up to 'enemies of humanity'
Comments come as Iran's defense minister says Tehran would be prepared to assist in arming Lebanon's military in view of a U.S. threat to cut army ties with Beirut.
Lebanon's resistance groups, along with Iran must stand together to thwart what he called foreign aggressors, Iranian ISNA news agency quoted Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying on Monday, adding that such an alliance would work against the "enemies of humanity."
Speaking during a meeting with the Lebanon-based Palestinian militant group Amal in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said that "Iran and Lebanon share heavy responsibilities and missions against Arrogant powers and enemies of humanity."
"Enemies are endeavoring to damage Lebanon's solidarity and unity, but Lebanese' resistance groups will thwart their plots and conspiracies with their tact and promotion of solidarity," the Iranian president added.
Amal officials present at the meeting said, concurring with Ahmadinejad's remarks, that the "Lebanese nation and groups stand firmly against Zionists and do not let them conduct any aggression."
Last week, Iran's Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi's said that Tehran was willing to sell weapons to Lebanon if Beirut asks for help in equipping its military.
Vahidi's comments came a day after the leader of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah group, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, called on the Lebanese government to formally seek military assistance from Iran.
"Lebanon is our friend," Vahidi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. "If there is a demand in this respect, we are ready to help that country and conduct weapons transactions with it."
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Nasrallah vowed that his Iranian-backed group could help secure the aid for Lebanon's poorly equipped army.
The Hezbollah leader made his suggestion after a U.S. congressman suspended $100 million of American military aid to Lebanon earlier this month over concerns the weapons could be used against Israel and that Hezbollah may have influence over the Lebanese army.
Iran is a key supporter of Hezbollah, believed to funnel it weapons and millions of dollars in funding, though Tehran denies arming the Shiite group.
Hezbollah, also closely allied to Syria, boasts a heavy arsenal of rockets capable of reaching deep inside Israel.