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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01BEIRUT1018 2001-04-26 16:49:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beirut
Cable title:  

KHATAMI HOLDS COURT FOR LEBANESE

Tags:   PGOV PREL PTER KISL KPAL IR SY LE 
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P 261649Z APR 01
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6162
ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L BEIRUT 001018 

PARIS FOR O'FRIEL, LONDON FOR SUTPHIN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/26/06
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER KISL KPAL IR SY LE
SUBJECT: KHATAMI HOLDS COURT FOR LEBANESE

REF: BEIRUT 1012 AND PREVIOUS

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE DAVID M. HALE. REASON 1.5 B&D




1. (C) SUMMARY: IRANIAN PRESIDENT KHATAMI MET ON
APRIL 25 WITH HIZBALLAH SYG HASSAN NASRALLAH AND
PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER/AMAL LEADER NABIH BERRI ON THE
MARGINS OF THE TEHRAN-SPONSORED CONFERENCE IN SUPPORT
OF THE AL-AQSA INTIFADA. KHATAMI LAVISHED PRAISE ON
HIZBALLAH AND WAS SOMEWHAT MORE RESERVED WITH AMAL,
THOUGH BERRI SCORED A VICTORY OF SORTS WITH THE
RE-OPENING OF THE AMAL OFFICE IN TEHRAN. FIRMLY
FIXED BEHIND HIZBALLAH IN FUNDING AND POPULARITY,
INCREASED IRANIAN ATTENTION AND PLEDGES OF FUNDING FOR
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SOUTH ARE OPPORTUNITIES BERRI IS
EAGER TO EXPLOIT. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) AS BLUSTERING RHETORIC CONTINUED TO EMANATE
FROM THE CONFERENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE INTIFADA HELD IN
TEHRAN, IRANIAN PRESIDENT KHATAMI HELD MEETINGS ON
APRIL 25 WITH HIZBALLAH SYG HASSAN NASRALLAH AND
SPEAKER/AMAL CHIEF, NABIH BERRI. LAUDING HIZBALLAH AS
"THE SPARKLING AND SHINING JEWEL IN THE SKY OF THE
ISLAMIC WORLD," KHATAMI HAILED THE PARTY AS A "MODEL"
FOR RESISTING ISRAELI AGGRESSION AND OCCUPATION.
PRAISING THE SACRIFICES HIZBALLAH, ITS MARTYRS, AND
SUPPORTERS HAVE MADE THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THEIR
RESISTANCE, KHATAMI CALLED ON THE PARTY TO CONTINUE
SUPPORT OF THE PALESTINIANS, "THE MAJOR CAUSE OF THE
ISLAMIC UMMA." POINTING TO THE GROUP'S "SUCCESS" IN
FORCING ISRAEL TO WITHDRAW FROM SOUTH LEBANON, KHATAMI
NOTED "AN ENEMY THAT WAS DEFEATED ONCE COULD BE
DEFEATED AGAIN." IN RESPONSE, NASRALLAH STRESSED ARAB
AND ISLAMIC UNITY WAS NEEDED TO CONFRONT THE "ANGERED
ZIONIST ENTITY," AND TO ENSURE ADEQUATE MEANS TO
SUPPORT THE INTIFADA AT DIFFERENT LEVELS.



3. (U) FOLLOWING ON THE HEELS OF NASRALLAH WAS BERRI.
SOMEWHAT OUT OF PLACE AT A CONFERENCE CHAMPIONING THE
PALESTINIAN CAUSE, BERRI NONETHELESS SEIZED AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR POLITICAL AND FINANCIAL ADVANCEMENT.
ACCORDING TO PRESS ACCOUNTS, HE THANKED KHATAMI FOR
ALLOWING AMAL TO OPEN AN OFFICE IN TEHRAN; KHATAMI
REPLIED "IRAN IS YOUR OFFICE." DOLING OUT AN OUNCE
OF PRAISE FOR LEBANON'S "OTHER" SHIA PARTY, KHATAMI
THANKED AMAL FOR ITS "STEADFASTNESS," AND BERRI FOR
HIS "GOOD ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION," REMARKING "WE
ALWAYS BENEFIT FROM MEETINGS WITH YOU." BERRI WILL
NO DOUBT SEEK TO USE THIS MEETING TO ASSOCIATE
HIMSELF WITH ANY INCREASED STATE-TO-STATE FINANCIAL
ASSISTANCE FROM TEHRAN, AND WITH A PROPOSED KHATAMI
VISIT TO LEBANON, IN HIS PERPETUAL POLITICAL STRUGGLE
WITH HIZBALLAH.

HALE