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Iran says resignation of Lebanese PM will create tension in region

06 November, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Lebanese prime minister suggests he fears for his life, resigns

Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation Saturday, accusing his adversaries of political interference and citing a fear that he, like his father before him, would become the target of an assassination plot.

The 47-year-old Sunni politician's resignation comes less than a year after his government, to which Hezbollah's political wing belongs, was formed.

Hariri disclosed his surprise decision during a televised speech from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reported to our newscast unit. He urged Lebanese citizens not to hold protests in response to the resignation, saying "this will not lead to any result".

"We urge against political escalation", he said.

Nasrallah said he would not comment on accusations levelled against Hezbollah by Hariri, describing his resignation announcement as a Saudi statement.

It was not immediately clear whether Hariri meant to return to Lebanon.




Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the kingdom's most prominent businessmen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hariri's resignation and comments "are a wake-up call to the global community to take action against the Iranian aggression that is trying to turn Syria into Lebanon 2".

Having Lebanon plunged in chaos and instability can only exacerbate an already messy regional scene. "We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik al-Hariri", his father, who was killed in a vehicle bomb incident in 2005 that many believe Hezbollah was involved in". According to the Lebanese constitution, the Prime Minister of Lebanon must be a Sunni Muslim, the President a Christian, and the chairman of the parliament a Shiite Muslim.

A United Nations -backed tribunal has indicted five Hezbollah members for the killing but the group denies any involvement. The report said due to the "serious" security threats against him, Hariri would not likely return to Lebanon.

A Saudi minister said on Saturday that Mr Hariri's personal security detail had "confirmed information" about the plot.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was concerned by Hariri's resignation and hoped all sides in the country would back its state institutions, his spokesman on Lebanon Stephane Dujarric said in an emailed statement.

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