Iranian politicians have said that the US and Saudi Arabia are plotting to stoke tensions in the region, after the surprise resignation of Lebanese prime minister Saad al-Hariri (pictured) on Saturday.
Foreign minister Bahram Qasemi said Hariri’s resignation was designed to create instability in Lebanon, which is increasingly influenced by Hezbollah.
Qasemi said that Hariri’s resignation speech included “unrealistic and unfounded accusations” and that the former prime minister was had aligned himself with the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
One day after meeting Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei in Beirut, Hariri went to Saudi Arabia to address Iran in his resignation speech. He said, “Iran’s hands in the region will be cut off”.
Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, accused the Saudis of interfering with internal Lebanese affairs and claimed the political content of Hariri’s resignation speech came from Saudi Arabia.
He also said that the way Hariri resigned humiliates Lebanon as well as the position of the prime minister.
Hezbollah is increasingly dominant in Lebanon, and unlike much of the country follow Iran’s policy of supporting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, something Hariri said “caused problems to Lebanon in the Arabian region”.
Hariri’s family have a close relationship with the Saudi kingdom, especially at an economic level. He is considered one of the most important investors in Saudi Arabia.
Hariri said that he resigned as he feared for his life. He said, “I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life.