Lebanon's Prime Minister Resigns, Fears Plot On His Life

The resignation of Lebanese President Saad al-Hariri must be a wake-up call for the world about the aggressive attempts by Iran to infiltrate countries and impose its will on other countries, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a statement Motzoei Shabbos.

Following Hariri's decision to step down, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the resignation should be a "wake-up call" to the worldwide community to the threat posed by Iran's regional ambitions, which he said endanger not only Israel but the entire Middle East.

Lebanon's president, Michel Aoun, said he spoke with Hariri by phone after the speech Saturday and, as the AP reports, he planned to work out the terms of the resignation following Hariri's return from Saudi Arabia.

The two-time prime minister, whose father Rafik held the same position for years and was assassinated in 2005, accused Iran and its powerful Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah of seeking hegemony in the region.

According to the source, with their inappropriate demands, Hariri and the Saudis expected Iran to leave alone the Yemenis to their fate "but after receiving Iran's negative response, the Saudis called back Hariri and urged him to resign".

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

Ghasemi dismissed Hariri's "baseless accusations", which he said indicate that "a new scenario" for the region was being drawn. Hezbollah denies any involvement. His attacks on Hezbollah come on the heels of new US sanctions on the group that many fear will impact negatively on the Lebanese economy. "But unfortunately, this pushed Iran and its allies to more interference in our internal affairs", he said. Saad al-Hariri's resignation threatens to reignite sectarian divisions in the country. Thamer al-Sabhan said in an interview with a Lebanese TV station on Saturday that there were "threats against the prime minister and the kingdom is keen for his security".

"It is clear that the resignation was a Saudi decision that was imposed on Prime Minister Hariri".

Hariri's resignation comes only a day after he met Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Beirut.

"So Lebanon is back on the table as a stage for the next tug of war", she said.

  • Joey Payne