Iran: Saudis gave Israel ‘strategic’ intel in 2006 Lebanon war
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Iran: Saudis gave Israel ‘strategic’ intel in 2006 Lebanon war

Tehran parliament speaker says regime has 'definite information' about Riyadh-Jerusalem security cooperation

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, presents the proposed annual budget to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani Ali Larijani in the capital Tehran, on January 17, 2016, after sanctions were lifted under Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, presents the proposed annual budget to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani Ali Larijani in the capital Tehran, on January 17, 2016, after sanctions were lifted under Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

Saudi Arabia gave “strategic” intelligence information to Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the speaker of Iran’s parliament claimed on Monday.

During an interview with the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese satellite TV channel Al Mayadeen, Ali Larijani said that Iran had “definite information” about the kingdom’s security cooperation with Israel, the Walla website reported.

Israel went to war with Iranian ally Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006 following its deadly attack on Israeli troops and abduction of two IDF soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The 34-day war saw Israel demolish large swathes of the Lebanese terror group’s Beirut stronghold, while Hezbollah fired hundreds of missiles at the north of Israel. The conflict, which ended on August 14, 2006 with a UN resolution, claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Lebanese and 165 Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Larijani also said that during Israel’s first round of fighting with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, between December 2008 and January 2009, known in Israel as Operation Cast Lead, the Saudis had “found excuses” to avoid taking any responsibility for Gaza, while Tehran had stood by Hamas and supported its military wing.

Shiite Iran and predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia have for years been battling for regional hegemony. A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Iran-backed rebels in Yemen since March 2015, further straining ties between Riyadh and Tehran.

Israeli soldiers with Lebanon and Hezbollah flags returning from southern Lebanon on the last day of the 2006 war (Photo credit: Pierre Terdjman/ Flash 90)
Israeli soldiers with Lebanon and Hezbollah flags returning from southern Lebanon on the last day of the 2006 war (Photo credit: Pierre Terdjman/ Flash 90)

Also on Monday, Larijani told the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shalah, that it was “the duty of every Muslim to support Palestine,” according to Channel 10 television.

In its latest annual report published Thursday, the US State Department said Iran had boosted its support for Palestinian terror groups in Gaza last year, as well as Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah, which has deployed thousands of fighters to Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ramadan Abdullah Shallah meets with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran in February (photo credit: AP Photo/ Ebrahim Seyyedi Office of the Iranian President)
Ramadan Abdullah Shalah (right), head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, meets with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, February 2007 (AP/ Ebrahim Seyyedi Office of the Iranian President)

It said Iran also “increased its assistance to Iraqi Shiite terrorist groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah, which is a US-designated foreign terrorist organization, as part of an effort to fight the Islamic State.”

Kata’ib Hezbollah, or Hezbollah Brigades, is one of a number of Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq that have played a major part in the government’s fightback against the Sunni extremists of IS.

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