Concern Over Hariri Resignation’s Security Implications

Concern Over Hariri Resignation’s Security Implications

A lawmaker described the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri as a mistake and blamed it on Saudi Arabia.
Kamal Dehqani Firouzabadi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, added that Saudi Arabia has always tried to foment religious and sectarian disputes in Lebanon, which aggravates the country’s internal affairs, ICANA reported on Sunday.
Hariri announced his resignation on Saturday during a trip to Saudi Arabia in a surprise move that plunged the country into uncertainty amid heightened regional tensions.
Hariri’s camp in Lebanon has always been loyal to Saudi Arabia.
In a televised address from Riyadh, Hariri criticized Iran and Hezbollah group for what he alleged was their meddling in Arab affairs. Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016 and headed a 30-member national unity Cabinet that included Hezbollah.
In his speech, he said he feared for his life and said the climate in the country is similar to the one that existed before his father, the late prime minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in 2005.
Dehqani said Saudi Arabia wants to undermine “the resistance axis” in the region, particularly Lebanon, because it fears that the successes achieved by resistance groups in Syria and Lebanon can become a pan-Arab model threatening the absolute monarchies in the region, especially that of Al Saud.
The resistance axis is an anti-Israeli alliance formed by Iran, Syria and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, which has been instrumental in defeating the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
Pointing to the fact that IS influence is on the decline, the parliamentarian said the terror group was a project implemented in the region by the funds of “regional reactionaries” and US support.
Now that the group is being defeated, efforts are seemingly underway for other “seditions” in Syria and Lebanon, he said.
“The start of this sedition has been sparked by the resignation of Saad Hariri, with Saudi Arabia behind the tension.”
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Sunday that Hariri’s departure was aimed at adding to problems in Lebanon and the region.
Hariri has repeated “unrealistic and unfounded accusations” and aligned himself with “those who seek ill for the region”, Qasemi said.
The spokesman said the only side benefiting from escalated tensions in the region is the Israeli regime.

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