BEIRUT (AFP/Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received a heros welcome on Wednesday on his first official visit to Lebanon where he hailed the countrys resistance against Israeli aggression. The Iranian leader was showered with rice and rose petals by tens of thousands of Hezbollah supporters who lined the streets and waved Iranian flags as his motorcade made its way from the airport to the presidential palace. The two-day trip is seen as a key boost for the Hezbollah group but has prompted criticism by members of Lebanons pro-Western parliamentary majority who see it as a bid to portray the country as an Iranian base on the Mediterranean. The US and Israel have also expressed concern, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday denouncing any effort to undermine Lebanons sovereignty. We reject any efforts to destabilise or inflame tensions within Lebanon, Clinton said in Kosovo. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that Ahmadinejads visit to Lebanon showed he was continuing his provocative ways while leading his country to economic distress and international sanctions. Israeli officials also slammed the visit, saying it marked Lebanons transformation into an extremist state. At a Press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Sleiman, Ahmadinejad hailed Lebanons resistance against the Zionist regime and offered his countrys backing towards that end. We fully support the resistance of the Lebanese people against the Zionist regime and we want full liberation of occupied territory in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, he said. As long as (Israeli) aggression exists in the region, we will not see stability, he added. Iran is the heartbeat of the resistance, said Hussein Khawi, 50, who was among thousands who turned out for the rally. Israel wont dare come near south Lebanon anymore. Ahmadinejad said Iran stood ready to assist the small Mediterranean country in all fields. In a message apparently aimed at easing months of tension between pro-Western politicians and Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad said Iran supported a strong and unified Lebanon. The two leaders signed a number of agreements in the health, tourism, energy, water and other sectors. Lebanon is not only a source of pride for the Lebanese but for the region, he added. Because Lebanon has changed the balance of power in favour of the people of the region. We have confirmed the importance of maintaining Lebanese national unity...supporting the state and its institutions and strengthening the foundations of stability, Suleiman said after the talks. Lebanons Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil said Iran had agreed a $450 million loan for Lebanon to support power and water projects. Ahmadinejad had a rare telephone call on Tuesday with Saudi Arabias King Abdullah, whose country supports Hezbollahs Sunni Muslim rivals, but no details were given of their conversation. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah echoed Irans call for Israel to disappear, speaking during a mass rally in Beirut organized in honour of visiting Iranian President Ahmadinejad. President Ahmadinejad is right when he says Israel is illegitimate and should cease to exist, Nasrallah told an ecstatic crowd of tens of thousands via video link. Chanting death to America and death to Israel, Hezbollah supporters turned out en masse in the southern suburb of Beirut they control to welcome Ahmadinejad. A beaming Ahmadinejad waved at the crowd before taking a seat next to Hezbollah number two Naim Qassem. The rally was held at an outdoor stadium where Iranian flags and photos of Ahmadinejad were hoisted alongside two life-sized pictures of overturned Israeli Merkava tanks. A photo of a crying Israeli soldier bearing the message Israel has fallen was also on display as video footage of the 2006 war aired on a giant screen. The climax of Ahmadinejads trip comes on Thursday (today) when he will be just a few kilometres away from the Israeli border as he tours southern villages destroyed during the 2006 conflict. He is set to stop in Bint Jbeil, a Hezbollah bastion devastated during the war, and in Qana, targeted in 1996 and again in 2006 by deadly Israeli air strikes.