Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announced his resignation on Saturday, stressing that “Iran’s hands in the region will be cut off,” emphasizing the fact that “wherever Iran is involved, there is nothing but devastation and chaos.”
“Iran has a strong desire to destroy the Arab world,” he said in his televised resignation speech.
Hariri warned that “the evil that Iran sends to the region will eventually backfire on Tehran.”
Hariri said: “Iran controls the region and the decision-making in both Syria and Iraq.”
In his statement, Hariri said Iran was “losing in its interference in the affairs of the Arab world”, adding that Lebanon would “rise as it had done in the past” and “cut off the hands that wickedly extend into it”.
Hariri stressed his rejection of the use of Hezbollah’s weapons against the Lebanese and Syrians, pointing out that “the intervention of Hezbollah caused us problems with our Arab neighborhood.”
Hariri said that he is aware that there are assassination plots against his life saying: “I sensed that there are people who secretly want me dead.”
In his speech, he said the atmosphere in the country is similar to the one that existed before his father, the late prime minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in 2005.
“We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of (his father the late prime minister) martyr Rafik al-Hariri. I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life,” he said.
He continued: “We will not allow Lebanon to become a trigger for the security of the region,” explaining that “frustration and fragmentation in Lebanon is unacceptable.”
Lebanese President Aoun, meanwhile, confirmed that Prime Minister Hariri’s office called him from Saudi Arabia with the news of the resignation.
For his part, Dr. Mustafa Alloush, leader of the Future Movement stated that that the upcoming days will be a period of “militarization.”
Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016 and headed a 30-member national unity cabinet that included the Shiite militant Hezbollah.
The government has largely succeeded in protecting the country from the effects of the civil war in neighboring Syria.
Hariri's resignation is expected to raise tensions in the country.
- With Reuters and The Associated Press