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May 8, 2018 2:03 pm

Hezbollah Triumph in Lebanon, Forthcoming Iraqi Election Will Strengthen ‘Resistance Front’ Against Israel, Claims Top Iranian Regime Adviser

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Deputy Hezbollah leader Naim Qassem (L) alongside leading Iranian regime adviser Ali Akbar Velayati (R) at a conference in Beirut in 2016. Photo: Reuters / Aziz Taher.

The Iranian regime has hailed Hezbollah’s victory in last Sunday’s Lebanese elections, predicting at the same time that Tehran’s allies will similarly triumph in the upcoming elections in Iraq on May 12.

Ali Akbar Velayati — the top adviser to Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — on Tuesday congratulated Hezbollah on its “great victory” in the elections. Velayati praised the Shi’a terrorist organization’s secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, for having “led the people to the victory…despite the Saudis and Zionists’ enormous efforts to derail the elections.”

According to the pro-Hezbollah AhlulBayt news agency, Velayati claimed that Hezbollah’s victory would strengthen the  region’s “resistance movement” against Israel. “He touched upon the next week’s election in Iraq, saying that the Resistance Front will once again show its power to its enemies following the victories in the two elections,” the news agency reported.

Parliamentary candidates aligned with Hezbollah and its political allies punished Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri’s pro-western Future Movement on Sunday, with the ruling bloc losing one-third of its seats in the 128-seat legislature. Hariri is likely to be asked to form the next government, which will compel him to make serious concessions to Hezbollah’s demands.

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Turnout in the election — the first since 2009 — was strikingly low, with just 49.2 percent of the country’s 3.6 million electors casting their ballots.

Hezbollah’s political gains in Lebanon come at a time of heightened tension between Israel and Iran in Syria, as well as growing speculation on the future direction of US policy toward Iran, as President Donald Trump exits the nuclear deal of 2015.

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