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Lebanon PM Begins First Visit to Iran


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, center left, reviews an honor guard as he is accompanied by Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahim, left, during an official welcoming ceremony, in Tehran, Iran, 27 Nov 2010

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, center left, reviews an honor guard as he is accompanied by Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahim, left, during an official welcoming ceremony, in Tehran, Iran, 27 Nov 2010

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is in Iran holding talks Saturday with the country's Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.

Mr. Hariri's first trip to Tehran comes at a time of heightened tensions in Lebanon over a U.N. special tribunal investigation into the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Media reports say the tribunal may indict Hezbollah members. Leaders of the Lebanese militant group, which is backed by Iran and Syria, have threatened retaliation. Mr. Hariri is expected to seek help from Iran to prevent an escalation of tensions during his two days of meetings with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials.

The Lebanese prime minister is leading a high-level delegation that is seeking ways to strengthen ties between the two countries. Mr. Hariri's trip, which started Saturday, comes a little over a month after Mr. Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon, where he met with top officials and Hezbollah leaders.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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