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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Syria, Iran press defiant
Israeli gunners in Northern Israel, near Lebanese borders

Newspapers in Iran and Syria are in a defiant mood after being accused by Israel of involvement in the Hezbollah attacks on its territory.

Little direct response to the Israeli accusations has been observed, but Iranian and Syrian commentators have taken the opportunity to attack Israel, the West and even Arab leaders over the crisis.

One paper which does confront the Israeli accusations is Iran's Kayhan.

"We wish Israel's lies were true," it says. "The officials of the wild Zionist regime allege that Iran has equipped Hezbollah with long-distance missiles and Iranian officials honestly deny these allegations.

It is shameful to find some Arabs showing weakness in the face of the Israeli aggression and its terrorist ways, blaming the explosion on the Lebanese resistance.
Al-Thawrah commentator

"They are right to do so. Because, to be honest, this is the sad truth."

Another Iranian paper, Siyasat-e-Ruz, calls on the government to "use a variety of mechanisms to help Hezbollah".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran shouldn't restrict its reaction to the Lebanese crisis to blaming Israel or staging demonstrations."

The paper urges the Iranian military "to support Hezbollah logistically and give it essential information... in order to drive the missiles into Tel Aviv".

According to Iran's Resalat, it is Israel's actions, not those of Hezbollah, Iran or Syria which threaten Middle East peace.

"By sending threatening messages to Iran and Syria and attacking Lebanon and Palestine, it proves that it is a regional threat for all the Middle East."

'True face of terrorism'

Iran's Arabic-language paper Al-Vefagh argues that the crisis "reveals the true face of terrorism that extends from Tel Aviv to Washington, across the European capitals".

In Syria, a commentator in Al-Thawrah takes to task Arab leaders who fail to support Hezbollah.

"It is shameful to find some Arabs showing weakness in the face of the Israeli aggression and its terrorist ways, blaming the explosion on the Lebanese resistance," he says.

"They ignore the real reasons behind what is happening - Israel's arrogance, its expansionist aggressive approach, its insistence on occupying Arab land, its incessant threats to the Arabs and its attempts to silence any resisting voice."

Syria's Tishrin hails Hezbollah, saying that "only it had the courage to take the decision of confrontation".

And a commentary in the Syrian ruling party paper Al-Ba'th calls for "an international campaign with the participation of Arabs and the countries rejecting the policy of international hegemony and terrorism... to put an end to the brutal aggression on Lebanon and to lift the siege on the Palestinian people".

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