Iran says resignation of Lebanese PM will create tension in region

Lebanese prime minister suggests he fears for his life, resigns
Lebanon economy, pound not in danger from Hariri exit: finance minister

06 November, 2017

Lebanon's prime minister Saad al-Hariri gestures during a press conference in parliament building at downtown Beirut, Lebanon October 9, 2017.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group, on Sunday accused Saudi Arabia of dictating Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's resignation, which threatens to throw the Middle East nation into chaos.

There is "no danger to the economy or pound", Khalil said. He is yet to return to Lebanon.

"The evil that Iran spreads in the region will backfire on it", he said Saturday.

Hariri's resignation toppled a coalition government that included Hezbollah, thrusting Lebanon back into the frontline of the Saudi-Iranian regional rivalry and risking an open-ended political crisis and sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

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

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Speaking from the Saudi capital Riyadh, Hariri cited Iran's "grip" on the country and threats to his life. Hariri is Lebanon's most influential Sunni politician.

Hariri said the atmosphere in Lebanon is quite similar to the period leading up to the assassination of his father, Rafiq Hariri, in 2005.

But Nasrallah on Sunday called for "calm, patience and waiting until the reasons become clear" for Hariri stepping aside. 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".

Nasrallah questioned the timing of Hariri's announcement at a time when "things are proceeding the heart of government" in Lebanon.

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