Riyadh, November 5: Leaving a Lebanon into the middle of political instability, the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Saturday unexpectedly resigned from his post during a trip to Saudi Arabia fearing his own assassination and accused Iran of meddling in the region.
In a televised address from Saudi Arabia, the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said that he was feared of his own assassination plot and accused Iran of meddling in the region, causing “devastation and chaos.” Hariri also said that Lebanon has suffered enough because of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its grip on domestic politics.
Hariri, who is pro-Saudi Sunni politician said, “I want to say to Iran and its followers that they are losing in their interference in the affairs of Arab nations, and our nation will rise as it did before, and the hands that are extended to it with evil will be cut off.”
Hariri also noted that the atmosphere in Lebanon was similar to the one that existed 12 years ago right before the assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. “We live in an atmosphere similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and I sensed what is being woven in secret to target my life,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Aoun confirmed he had received a phone call from Hariri about stepping down. Aoun's office said he would wait for the Prime Minister to return to Beirut to discuss the circumstances of his resignation.
On the other side, Iran has straight away dismissed the reports while accusing the United States and Saudi Arabia of orchestrating the resignation. Iranian Foreign Ministry official Hossein Sheikholeslam in a press statement said that Hariri's resignation was coordinated with the US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Mohammad bin Salman.
Hariri was appointed a prime minister in late 2016 and was a leader of a 30-member national unity cabinet that included Hezbollah. President Michel Aoun, who took office in October 2016, is a close ally of the Hezbollah group. He was elected after Hariri endorsed him for president, based on an agreement that he would make him as prime minister.
Under the Lebanese Constitution, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni and the speaker of the Parliament a Shiite Muslim. Earlier this year, Hariri met President Donald Trump at the White House. They spoke about economic issues and the pressure on Lebanon after an influx of 1.5 million displaced Syrians in the country. However, during the meet, Trump also warned about the danger of Hezbollah.