White House warns Syria, Iran: 'Hands off' LebanonWASHINGTON
-- The Bush administration Wednesday warned the governments of Syria and Iran to stop what the White House said were efforts to topple the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
The White House said it is "increasingly concerned by mounting evidence that the Syrian and Iranian governments, [Hezbollah] and their Lebanese allies are preparing plans to topple Lebanon's democratically elected government."
Syria, in a statement issued Wednesday, denied it is interfering in Lebanese politics.
The tough-worded U.S. statement was issued amid growing political tensions in Lebanon.
"We are making it clear to everyone in the region that it ought to be 'hands off' the Siniora government, and let them do their business," White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters Wednesday.
The administration line comes on the heels of visits to Washington by two senior Lebanese political figures, Minister for Social Affairs Leyla Mouwad and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.
Lebanese diplomatic sources told CNN that in separate meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney, Mouwad and Jumblatt voiced concerns that Syrian and Iranian forces are working with Hezbollah to topple the Siniora government. CNN