Lebanon demands explanation from Iran over troops

Associated Press
Pope Benedict XVI, left, addresses a speech in front of Lebanese honor guards during his departure ceremony, at Rafik Hariri International airport, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday Sept. 16, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI end his three days visit to Lebanon after he celebrated an open-air mass for tens of thousands of pilgrims from across the Middle East, saying Christians must do their part to end the "grim trail of death and destruction" in the region. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has asked for official clarifications from Iran over statements by a senior commander that they have military advisers in Lebanon.

A statement released by Suleiman's office says the president made his comments Monday while receiving Iran's ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi.

The top commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said Sunday that his force has high-level advisers in Lebanon and Syria. Gen. Mohammed Ali Jafari's comments marked the clearest indication of Iran's direct assistance to its main Arab allies, Damascus and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

He told reporters that the Guard's Quds force have been in Syria and Lebanon as advisers for a long time, but was not more specific.

The statement said Ambassador Roknabadi denied there were advisers in Lebanon.

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