Iran Invites Libya Rebel Chief to Tehran

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Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has invited the head of the Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) to visit Tehran, a foreign ministry statement said on Tuesday.

"In a phone conversation (Monday night) with the NTC head, Salehi congratulated the victory of the Muslim people of Libya and stressed (the desire) to deepen bilateral ties," said the statement, a copy of which was received by Agence France Presse.

Following an invitation by the rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil, "Salehi invited the NTC head for a visit at an opportune time," it added.

On Sunday, Salehi said Iran had "discreetly" provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli on August 21.

Abdel Jalil, for his part, "thanked the Iranian government for its humanitarian aid and assistance during tough times," and called for the return of Iran's ambassador to Libya, according to the Tuesday statement.

The phone conversation marked the first official contact between Iran and the NTC since Moammar Gadhafi's capital was overrun by rebels and he went into hiding.

Iran has still not officially recognized the NTC.

The statement said the Iranian ambassador, who "left Tripoli after the protest movement of the Libyan people," would soon return there.

Since the Libyan uprising erupted in mid-February, Iran has adopted a dual approach -- criticizing the Gadhafi regime for its violent assaults on the rebels while at the same time condemning NATO's military intervention.

Comments 3
Thumb shab 30 August 2011, 16:06

Who cares?

Default-user-icon TITUS (Guest) 30 August 2011, 17:52

The Libyan rebels should stay away from the crumbling criminal Iranian regime, if they are to really transition to a free democratic and economically viable country. Otherwise they would just be replacing one Crazy murderous tyrrannical regime with another equally as murderous but even more fanatical one. It would be interesting to see which path the rebels of the New Libya will choose, of course the world is watching... tHE SAME Goes for Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen,...

Default-user-icon gebrab basij (Guest) 30 August 2011, 21:04

Salehi should become part of the Naharnet logo we see his mug everyday, the poor thing is so desperate to show a brave face he's having to make daily claims about how helpful Iran has been to the Libyan rebels just to try to put the bigbigs with the mrminibrains feel at ease. But it works bigdig keeps falling for it bless his minibrain.