BEIRUT: Iran is making sacrifices for Hezbollah and will support the Lebanese party in the event that it is attacked, Tehran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Friday.
“The Islamic Republic is sacrificing itself for Hezbollah,” Fars News Agency quoted Larijani as saying during a ceremony in Tehran.
“Certainly, if Hezbollah is attacked, Iran will be its backbone because Hezbollah is the pride of the Islamic world and it broke Israel’s back,” he added.
Larijani also hit back at the U.S. after Washington criticized Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for placing a wreath on the grave of slain Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh during a recent visit to Lebanon.
“They said Zarif shouldn’t have visited the graveyard of a commander in a terrorist organization, but on the other hand we saw American officials at the funeral of [former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon, the butcher of Sabra and Shatila [Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut].”
Larijani also said that the entire Muslim world respected Mughniyeh and saw him as a symbol of courage.
“If Western officials bad-mouth Hezbollah and the resistance, they will surely be met with slaps.”
Mughniyeh was wanted by the U.S. on charges of terrorism.
Separately, deputy Iranian justice minister Adbol-Ali Mirkouhi and the judicial delegation he headed left Beirut for Tehran Friday after meeting with Lebanese officials and politicians in connection with the probe into November’s attack Iranian Embassy attack.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 18, 2014, on page 3.