Sa’ad Hariri avoids returning home citing security concern
In the fast moving developments in the Middle East, Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has arrived in United Arab Emirates for a meeting with powerful Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, reports Hariri’s Future TV.
Hariri had on Saturday suddenly announced his resignation while visiting Saudi Arabia. He enjoys both nationalities: Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Hariri is considered to be close to Saudi rulers who are engaged in a continuous campaign against Iran for its widening influence in the region. He left Riyadh Tuesday morning for Abu Dhabi.
While announcing his resignation live on TV from Riyadh, Saad Hariri said that he believed there was an assassination plot against him and accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world. He had also that Hezbollah was “directing weapons” at Yemenis, Syrians and Lebanese
Reacting to Hariri’s resignation, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah said on Sunday that his resignation proves that Saudi Arabia is interfering with Lebanon’s internal Affairs.
He claimed that Hariri’s resignation was pre-recorded and broadcast on the Saudi Al-Arabiya network indicates that Saudi regime forced him to resign.
Meanwhile Bahram Qasssemi, spokesman of Iranian foreign ministry said, “The resigning Lebanese prime minister’s repetition of the unrealistic and unfounded accusations of the Zionists, Saudis and Americans against Iran is an indication that this resignation is a new scenario for creating tension in Lebanon and the region. But we believe that the resistant people of Lebanon will pass this stage easily.”
Hariri’s departure from Riyadh comes after days of speculation in Lebanon that the Lebanese-Saudi politician is under house arrest in Saudi Arabia following his resignation. A Saudi minister had reportedly said that Hariri was in Riyadh to endure his safety.
Asharq al-Awsat, a pan-Arab newspaper reported on Sunday that western intelligence agencies had warned former PM Hariri about the presence of jamming devices in his motorcade to be part of assassination plot. The daily claimed that the devices designed to confuse radars and AWACS were turned out to be Iranian made.
Hariri’s sudden resignation brought down the coalition government and plunged Lebanon into a new political crisis. Hariri’s coalition took office last year bringing all main parties including Hezbollah. Under the deal Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally was made president.
President Aoun has reportedly said that he was waiting for Hariri’s return to Beirut. He has to appoint a Prime Minister from Sunni community with parliamentarians support.
Observers believe that Hezbollah’s support to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in defeating Daesh (IS) has triggered Saudi Arabia to ask Hariri for resigning and announcing his displeasure against Iran and the militant groups. Daesh is reportedly influenced with Saudi extreme Wahabi ideology and is allegedly supported by its regional allies.
Asharq al-Awsat, quoting unnamed source, has speculated that Harir would probably remain outside Lebanon because of the security threat against him.
Outgoing PM Sa’ad Hariri’s father Rafic Hariri, the than PM, was assassinated along with 21 others in February 2006 in a bomb explosion in Beirut.