Iran speaker rejects Hariri tribunal as 'political'

AFP , Saturday 2 Jul 2011

The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon is "political" and "disreputable" and its indictment against Hezbollah members is of no importance, Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Saturday.

The Netherlands-based STL investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri on Thursday charged four members of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah over the 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese premier.

"The court is so disreputable for anyone to pay attention to its results," said Larijani, who is on an official visit in Azerbaijan, the Iranian parliament's website reported.

Larijani said the court's ruling had been influenced up by the United States after failing "to prevent the formation of the (Prime Minister Najib) Mikati government," in Lebanon.

"The Americans feel they have been slapped in the face and they are seeking to make up a story" by indicting Hezbollah members, Larijani said.

Nemesis of Israel and blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the United States, Hezbollah is backed by Iran and Syria.
Hezbollah, with its allies, dominates the Mikati government formed in June.

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