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Bush Says Iran Behind Lebanese Fighting

U.S. President George Bush says Iran is trying to bring down the democratically-elected government in Lebanon. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Mr. Bush discussed the ongoing conflict with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during talks in Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he and President Bush discussed Tehran's role in Lebanese fighting. He says Iran is heavily involved in an attempt to bring down the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

"We observe the events in Lebanon and we are very much concerned that there will be an attempt to upset the democratic process," he said.

Speaking to reporters after their talks at the Israeli prime minister's residence, Mr. Bush says Lebanon's worst sectarian violence in nearly two decades is a direct result of Iran's support for the militant group Hezbollah.

"Hezbollah, the so-called protector of the Lebanese against Israel, has now turned on its own people. And as you mention, Hezbollah is supported by Iran. This is an Iranian effort to destabilize that young democracy, and the United States stands strongly with the Siniora government," he said.

U.S. National Security Advisor Steve Hadley says Washington will intensify pressure on Syria and Iran and is calling for other Middle Eastern countries to do the same.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Saud al-Faisal is condemning Iran for carrying out what he calls "a coup attempt" in Lebanon.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the charge, saying Iran is the only country not interfering in Lebanon.

Tuesday, Lebanon's army announced plans to intervene in the fighting for the first time since the violence erupted last week.

Hezbollah fighters swept across Beirut last Wednesday after the Siniora government declared their telecommunications network illegal and fired an airport security chief for his alleged ties to the militant group.