Iran TerrorismIran role in Lebanon worries U.S.

Iran role in Lebanon worries U.S.

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CNN: As the U.N. Security Council considers sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, U.N. ambassadors are also holding consultations about Iran’s involvement in Lebanon, according to U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. UNITED NATIONS (CNN) — As the U.N. Security Council considers sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, U.N. ambassadors are also holding consultations about Iran’s involvement in Lebanon, according to U.S. Ambassador John Bolton.

Bolton on Wednesday praised U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a recent report in which he described Iran’s role in Lebanon as “disruptive and unhelpful.”

Annan’s report stemmed from the United Nations’ ongoing investigation into the February 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, which indicates top-ranked Syrian and Lebanese officials may have been involved in the blast.

“It’s the first time Iran was mentioned” Bolton said. “It’s important that the secretary-general himself described Iran’s provocative role in the region that way.”

He said there is no doubt Iran finances terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian and Islamic Jihad, several of which operate in Lebanon.

Bolton also noted that concerns have been raised over “the near alliance that Syria and Iran seem to have formed in recent months and the implications that has for peace and security in the region.”

“I have spent several years now worried about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, but obviously now we also see the effect of the financing by the Iranian government of terrorist organizations and their effort to disrupt what we think should be progress toward a sovereign and democratic Lebanon,” he said.

Bolton called Iran’s role in Lebanon “a very serious matter” and said, “we’re in consultation about it.”

“It’s a matter of great importance, there’s no doubt about that,” he added.

Syria’s government repeatedly has denied any involvement in the Hariri bombing, which killed 22 others on February 14, 2005.

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