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Lebanon at forefront of fight against Israel extremism: Iran's Rouhani

In this file picture, Hezbollah fighters hold flags of the Lebanese resistance movement during a parade in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by AP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Lebanon stands at the forefront of the fight against the Israeli regime's extremism.

Rouhani on Saturday extended his congratulations to Lebanese President Michel Aoun on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of Lebanon’s Resistance and Liberation Day, which marks the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Arab country’s southern territory.

"Undoubtedly, Lebanon stands at the forefront of the fight against the Zionist regime’s extremism,” the Iranian president said, adding that “convergence and unity in the golden triangle of the [Lebanese] government, army and resistance [front] have played a leading role in achieving this big victory.”

He once again expressed Iran's strong support for the establishment of stability and peace in Lebanon.

The Israeli regime first invaded Lebanon in 1978 and later escalated the military operation into a full-scale offensive in 1982.

Following the 1982 offensive, known as the First Lebanon War, Tel Aviv refused to leave southern Lebanon and kept its military presence there in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 425 that called on the regime to immediately withdraw.

However, the Zionist enemy eventually buckled under the resistance put up by Hezbollah fighters and pulled out its forces from the occupied areas overnight on May 24, 2000, in what observers call a humiliating defeat for the regime in Tel Aviv and a glorious victory for Hezbollah.

During the 22-year entanglement with Lebanon, the Israeli military took heavy blows from Lebanese resistance fighters and reportedly lost some 900 of its soldiers.

Hezbollah’s victory also served as a source of inspiration for the Palestinians, who launched their second anti-Israel uprising, known as al-Aqsa Intifada, in the occupied territories only four months after Tel Aviv’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in September 2000.

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