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Hugh in Lebanon.

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Eddie Mair | 11:47 UK time, Thursday, 5 June 2008

Here are some faces and places to put to the names in Hugh's report from Lebanon last night - he was pinning down the extent of Iran's influence and control on the Hizbollah movement:

"Alam Shourab, mobile phone shop manager and supporter of Hizbollah. And of Iran. If America helps Israel, he asked me, why shouldn't Iran help Hizbollah?

Nawar el Sahili, a Beirut lawyer and one of Hizbollah's fourteen members of the Lebanese parliament. He says Hizbollah has no aggressive intentions towards Israel, that it merely wants the Israelis to vacate land (like the Shebaa farms) which it regards as occupied Lebanese territory.

Oussama Safa, director of the Lebanon Centre for Policy Studies in Beirut. He says Iran is trying to increase its direct contacts with Hizbollah, to reduce its dependence on Damascus in case Syria and Israel sign a peace treaty.

Paul Salem, at the Carnegie Endowment in Lebanon. He says Hizbollah is still hugely dependent on money from Iran - to pay it's 50,000 salaried staff for example.

Hizbollah general secretary Hassan Nasrallah's face appears on many posters in the movement's heartland in the southern Beirut suburbs.

This is a block of flats destroyed by Israeli bombing in the summer war of 2006.....

...and the same location now. Hizbollah's Iranian funding, and the speed and efficiency of its reconstruction programme are the envy of other districts of Beirut:

Unrepaired damage from the civil war, which ended nearly twenty years ago. This was the Holiday Inn. Advantageous high ground, but a vulnerable easy target.

Spring flowers and bullet holes.

Beirut is bursting with flowers. Oleander and plumbago are in full bloom. These hollyhocks are near the Corniche, and a fun fair by the sea. Meanwhile....

...spotted in heavy Beirut traffic. French songs were booming from her window. And, at night, and not in the Shia suburbs": lel.JPG


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