Speaking on the anniversary of the birth of Imam Ali, whom Shi'a regard as the first rightful successor of the Prophet Muhammad, Khamenei said that defending the Lebanese Shi'te militant group is the duty of "the whole of Muslim society."
Khamenei made a similar plea on August 2.
CLASH OF ARMS: Since mid-July, Israel has been battling Hizballah guerrillas in southern Lebanon and carrying out punishing air strikes throughout the country. International efforts to broker a cease-fire have met with one obstacle after another, as civilian casualties mount and a humanitarian crisis unfolds. Since Hizballah is closely supported by Syria and Iran, the conflict threatens constantly to develop into a regional conflagration.... (more)