BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Lebanon's Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group says authorities should formally ask Iran to help equip the country's military.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah vows his Iranian-backed group would use its friendship with Iran to secure assistance to the national army.

His televised comments Tuesday were in response to a decision by a U.S. congressman this month to suspend $100 million worth of American military aid over concerns the weapons could be turned on Israel and that the militant Hezbollah group may have influence over the Lebanese army.

The Lebanese government has since opened an account at the central bank to receive donated funds to buy weapons for the country's military.