Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri Announces Sudden Resignation

05 November, 2017, 02:22 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Lebanese prime minister suggests he fears for his life, resigns

Iran's Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the sudden resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Saturday, saying this is "another scenario" meant to create a new wave of tension in Lebanon and the region at large.

Saudi Arabia's Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan said in a television interview that Hariri's personal security detail had "confirmed information" of a plot to kill him.

Hariri blasted Iran's interference in the region, arguing that the "Islamic Republic has a desire to destroy the Arab world and has boasted of its control over the decisions of Arab capitals".

Hariri said the atmosphere in Lebanon is quite similar to the period leading up to the assassination of his father, Rafiq Hariri, in 2005.

"I felt what was being covertly plotted to target my life", he said.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are regional arch foes.

"The Saudi Arabia-Iranian rivalry now is going to play out on Lebanon's streets in the next few days and next few weeks".

Hariri's coalition, which took office a year ago, grouped almost all of Lebanon's main parties, including Hezbollah. "Despite my efforts, Iran continues to abuse Lebanon", he said.

Hezbollah members have been accused over the 2005 assassination in a massive vehicle bomb blast of Rafik Hariri, the dominant figure in Lebanon's post-war political landscape.

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Several Hezbollah members are being tried in absentia for the killing by a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Hariri said Hezbollah's policies have put Lebanon "in the eye of the storm".

"When I took office, I promised you that I would seek to unite the Lebanese, end political division and establish the principle of self-sufficiency, but I have been unable to do so".

"Prime Minister Hariri has reached the stage where he is not able anymore to bear the pressure on Lebanon by Arab nations, due to the intervention of Iran", said Mohyeddine Awwad, sitting in a cafe where posters of Hariri hung.

Hariri's words are explosive, said Gerges.

After his father's death, Hariri went on to the Future bloc (al-Mustaqbal), which draws its support mainly from the country's Sunni population, and which later formed alliances with other parties from across Lebanon's communal divide.

Hariri left Beirut for Saudi Arabia on a "work visit" on Friday, his office said in a statement, the second trip in less than a week.

He earlier said that those who cooperate with Hezbollah must be "punished".

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