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Lebanon chooses a president supported by Iran and Hezbollah

Lebanon's lawmakers elected Michel Aoun, an lran-backed politician and former general, as president Monday, ending more than two years the country has gone without a leader.

 

Aoun, 81, is an ally of Hezbollah, the Shiite militia and political party backed by Iran that has helped Syrian President Bashar Assad survive a five-year civil war on Lebanon’s border.

 

The vote for Aoun, by 83 of parliament’s 127 members, shows Iran-backed political factions shouldered past those aligned with Saudi Arabia, replacing Syria as Lebanon’s chief foreign power broker.

 

Aoun’s “victory now is a victory for Hezbollah and that alliance, and certainly a kind of black eye for Saudi Arabia,” said Paul Salem, vice president for policy and research at the Middle East Institute, a think tank in Washington.

 

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