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Dec 07,2007
Question purpose of Iran's road in Lebanon
by UPI

BEIRUT, Lebanon - An Iranian road-building project in Lebanon reportedly could be used to create a supply route for rearming Hezbollah.

Iran says work on the road is merely reconstruction following the 2006 war with Israel but observers charge it is an attempt to consolidate Shiite control over southern Lebanon, the Telegraph reported Friday.

The newspaper says Iranian money is also creating two new Shiite villages to protect the road.

A local Druze leader says the creation of the two villages poses a threat to his community since they divide existing settlements.

"Those of us who remember the civil war had hoped that the rivalry between the different groups was part of our past but it looks very much as if Iran is making it part of our future," Simon Karam of the Christian town of Jezzine told the newspaper.

Work on the road has been swift with local contractors being paid at least twice the going rate.

The road and the two new villages are viewed as threatening the delicate balance between the various ethnic groups in Lebanon.

© 2007 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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