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Saudi Arabia no match for Iran in terms of political vitality: Michel Aoun

26 July 2015 23:12



Lebanese politician Michel Aoun says Iran and Saudi Arabia are by no means comparable as the Islamic Republic offers political freedoms unseen in the Arab kingdom.

“In Iran, presidential, parliamentary and local council elections are held, and there are political debates and dialog; but in Saudi Arabia, none of these are seen,” Aoun, who is now the leader of the Lebanese parliament’s Change and Reform bloc, told IRNA.

He said that a “balance of power” among the branches of government in Iran blocks any monopoly of power.

The former Lebanese army general also commended the Islamic Republic for its resistance during the marathon nuclear talks with the P5+1 – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany – which were concluded on July 14.

“Iran secured an important achievement before the [nuclear] agreement; it endured a long period of sanctions; this resistance helped the country reach self-sufficiency,” he said, praising Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani for their support of the nuclear talks.

Aoun advised countries in the Middle East to adopt a peaceful stance vis-à-vis the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six other countries, saying the nuclear industry would benefit them all.

He said Iran has never shown any animosity in its interactions with Arab states.

“Iran has been the only country to continue its support for the Palestinian issue so far and is the biggest defender of Palestine,” he said.

Aoun, 80, is a Maronite Christian and the leader of the influential Free Patriotic Movement Party in Lebanon.

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