Sunday, August 13, 2006

Iran says disarming Lebanese Hizbollah "illogical"

Iran welcomed on Sunday a planned ceasefire to halt the month-long war between Lebanon's Hizbollah and Israel but described the U.N. Security Council's call for disarming the Iranian-backed group as "illogical".

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on Friday calling for a "full cessation of hostilities" and for the implementation of a previous U.N. resolution requiring the disarming of armed groups including Hizbollah.

"We are happy for the ceasefire in Lebanon. But the resolution is not balanced," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a weekly news conference.

"It does not condemn the Zionist regime (Israel) and its crimes in Lebanon."

Asked about the call for disarming Hizbollah, Asefi said: "This is a totally unreasonable demand. It is illogical." READ MORE

"Let us not forget that as long as there is occupation there is resistance," he added.

Israel accuses Iran of providing Hizbollah with missiles used against civilian and military targets. Although Iran armed and funded Hizbollah during the 1980s, Tehran now insists it provides only moral support to the group.

Opposition to Israel was one of the founding principles of the Islamic Republic. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map".