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Nasrallah Comes Out from Hiding, Praises Ahmadinejad

Hizbullah chief Nasrallah praises Ahmadinejad ahead of Lebanon visit, calls for massive turnout. Iran's President won't visit Israeli border.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/9/2010, 8:23 PM / Last Update: 10/9/2010, 9:08 PM

Flash 90

Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah called Saturday for residents of Lebanon to turn out en masse to greet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he arrives in the country on Wednesday. "I urge the Lebanese people and the Palestinians to welcome the president of Iran and to take part," in the events surrounding his visit, the terror chief said.

An advertisement has been playing on Hizbullah's television station, al-Manar, calling on "supporters of the resistance" to come stand along the road from the Beirut airport on Wednesday morning to greet Ahmadinejad as he drives by. "Lebanon is the country of resistance," the ad states.

Hizbullah is planning to give Ahmadinejad a tour of southern Lebanon. The Iranian president will visit villages that were the site of heavy fighting between the IDF and Lebanese terrorists during the Lebanon War and Second Lebanon War, among them Qana and Bint Jbeil, Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah said that, contrary to previous reports, Ahmadinejad does not plan to throw rocks at Israel during his tour. "If President Ahmadinejad asks my opinion, I shall say: 'A stone? You are capable of throwing more than a stone,'" he added.

Iranian media reported Saturday that Ahmadinejad does not plan to visit the Israel border at all.

Iran has played a key role in rebuilding Hizbullah strongholds in southern Lebanon and Beirut following the Second Lebanon War, Nasrallah told his followers. He thanked Ahmadinejad for the "enormous sums" spent on reconstruction, as well as for "moral" support.

Nasrallah's address was given via a live video feed, as are most of his speeches, due to fears of assassination. However, the Hizbullah head made a rare public appearance on Friday, when he planted a tree near his house in Beirut as part of a Hizbullah campaign to plant one million new trees.

Lebanon's Minister of Agriculture stood alongside Nasrallah as he worked.