The balance of power has changed in this age of Obama, and Saad Hariri knows it. And so he is in Tehran currying favor with the new masters. “Lebanese PM seeks support in Iran visit,” by Ali Akbar Dareini for Associated Press, November 27 (thanks to JCB):
TEHRAN, Iran – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri expressed concerns for stability in the Middle East as he began a visit to Tehran Saturday to rally Iran’s support for his efforts to keep Lebanon stable amid tensions over a U.N. probe into the assassination of his father, Rafik Hariri.
The visit follows President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s October tour of Lebanon, during which the Iranian leader reinforced Tehran’s ties to the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group, a longtime protege of the Shiite powerhouse.
The exuberant welcome the Shiite Hezbollah staged for Ahmadinejad in Lebanon threw Hariri’s Western-backed factions in the government on the defensive.
After touchdown in Tehran, Hariri was greeted by Iran’s Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi and reviewed an honor guard before heading in to meetings….
Iran, whose ties to Hezbollah date back nearly 30 years, allegedly funds the militant group to the tune of millions of dollars a year and is suspected of supplying much of its arsenal.
In remarks in English, released by his office ahead of the Iran visit, Hariri underlined concerns for stability.
“Impairing the stability of any country of the region is a threat to the interests of Arabs and Iran at the same time,” Hariri said. “Therefore, I consider that Iran is concerned by all effort to provide elements of stability in all countries of the region, including Lebanon.”
Hariri is expected to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Ahmadinejad during the two-day visit, as well as other top Iranian officials, Iranian state television reported….