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Lebanon's PM Visits Iran Amid Tribunal Probe

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (file photo)

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (file photo)

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected Saturday to seek Iran's help in preventing an escalation in tensions in Lebanon over a U.N. special tribunal probing the 2005 assassination of his father.

Iran's state-run media quoted Mr. Hariri on Friday, the eve of his first visit to Tehran, as saying Iran has a "natural" role in maintaining stability in the region.

Media reports have said the tribunal may indict members of Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, in the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said his Lebanese militant group will "cut the hand" of anyone who threatens to arrest group members.

Mr. Hariri's two-day visit to Iran comes about a month after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon. During his trip, he met with Hezbollah leaders and praised the group for its armed struggle against Israel.

The Lebanese prime minister is slated to meet Saturday with Mr. Ahmadinejad and other officials to discuss strengthening ties between the two countries.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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