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Khatami in Lebanon Amid U.S. Pressure on Hizbollah

Iran’s President Mohammad Khatami arrived in Beirut on Monday for talks expected to deal with U.S. demands to curb Iranian-backed Hizbollah guerrillas. The visit is the first to Lebanon by an Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Washington has boosted pressure on Lebanon and Syria to get Hizbollah — which used Iranian aid to end Israel’s 22-year occupation of south Lebanon — away from a border zone where it has clashed with Israeli troops since they left in 2000. As Khatami’s plane landed, hundreds of people waving the flags of Lebanon, Iran and Hizbollah lined the road leading to Beirut airport, where he was met by Lebanon’s president, prime minister and officials including Hizbollah representatives. Analysts expect Khatami — whose country faces its own problems with Washington over its alleged nuclear program — to pressure Hizbollah for even greater restraint in its conflict with Israel in the disputed Shebaa Farms border area. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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