Ahmadinejad tells Saudi king he wants united Lebanon

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UNITED RELIGION OF PEACE?

Saudi Arabia and Western governments back the majority bloc in parliament of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Iran and its regional ally Syria support the minority bloc led by Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Lebanon's most powerful political and military force, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.

Ahmadinejad received a hero's welcome from Hezbollah and its supporters during his October 13-14 visit, during which he travelled to the Israeli border.

The Iranian leader last spoke to the Saudi monarch the day before the visit, which drew strong criticism from Israel and the United States.

In its report on Wednesday's phone conversation, Iran's official IRNA news agency said that Ahmadinejad and the king discussed a range of international developments as well as ways to boost relations.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have also been competing for influence in Iraq where they have backed rival sides in the protracted battle for the premiership since an inconclusive March election between incumbent Nuri al-Maliki and former prime minister Iyad Allawi.


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