Thursday, July 08, 2010

Iranian Regime Ayatullah Ahmad Jannati Meets with Lebanese Hizbullah Leader Hasan Nasrallah Following Grand Ayatullah Fadlallah's Funeral

Hizbullah secretary-general al-Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah (left) meets with the secretary of Iran's Council of Guardians, Ayatullah Ahmad Jannati.

Iran's supreme leader, al-Sayyid 'Ali Khamenei, dispatched a delegation headed by regime ayatullah Ahmad Jannati, secretary of the Council of Guardians, to the viewing and funeral of Lebanon's preeminent Twelver Shi'i religious scholar, Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, who died on July 4 and was buried on Tuesday (July 6). Khamenei also issued a statement on Fadlallah's death, addressing him simply as an "ayatullah."

Nasrallah and Hizbullah have been respectful of Fadlallah, despite the late grand ayatullah's differences with the party, and indeed seem to be trying to co-opt his legacy for their own benefit while still maintaining the party allegiance to Khamenei. For their part, Khamenei and other clerics affiliated with the Iranian regime had long sponsored polemics against Fadlallah, often using Lebanese clerics aligned with them, such as Ja'far Murtada al-'Amili.

Jannati's trip to Lebanon was also marked by a meeting with Nasrallah and other Hizbullah officials in Beirut. The ayatullah recently criticized Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his public opposition to enforcement of the country's strict "Islamic" dress laws.

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