Iran said on Monday it respected the votes cast by people in Lebanon's parliamentary election, where unofficial results showed Iran-backed Hezbollah and its political allies won just over half the seats, state TV reported.
"Lebanon is an independent country ... Iran respects (the) vote of Lebanese people ... We are ready to work with ... the government elected by the majority," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state TV.
Hezbollah supporters were were seen celebrating in the street of Beirut Sunday night and were reportedly chanting ‘Beirut has become Shia.’ Photos also emerged on Twitter of a Hezbollah flag planted on the statue of Rafic Hariri, the father of the current Lebanese prime minister and a former prime minister who was assassinated in 2005 allegedly by Hezbollah operatives.
Israeli minister repsonds
Hezbollah's gains in the Lebanese election on Sunday show that the state is indistinguishable from the Iranian-backed Shi'ite group and that Israel should not distinguish between them in any future war, an Israeli security cabinet minister said.
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"Hezbollah = Lebanon," Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a rightist in the Israel's conservative coalition government, said on Twitter on Monday.
"The State of Israel will not differentiate between the sovereign State of Lebanon and Hezbollah, and will view Lebanon as responsible for any action from within its territory."