The leader of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, accused Saudi Arabia of detaining Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad al Hariri and forcing him to resign as Lebanon’s Prime Minister, with the aim of destabilizing the country; that after Riyadh had declared war on Lebanon and the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah, which is part of the Lebanese government. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah further accused Riyadh of encouraging Israel to attack Lebanon. While an Israeli attack could not be ruled out entirely, Nasrallah said, it was highly unlikely, partly because Israel knew it would pay a very heavy price.
Prime Minister Hariri’s resignation is being widely seen as part of a Saudi attempt to counter Iran, as Tehran’s influence deepens in Syria and Iraq and as Riyadh and its allies battle Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, Hariri announced, in a televised interview, that he may return to Lebanon in the next couple of days, but would only withdraw his resignation if the Islamic Republic of Iran would stop interfering in Lebanon’s domestic affairs, as well as Hezbollah’s involvement in regional conflicts on Iran’s behalf. Hariri said, “If I want to pull back from the resignation, Lebanon’s policy of disassociation from regional conflicts must be respected. Those are things we cannot handle,” he said.
The Saudi-backed Lebanese leader further warned that Hezbollah’s actions across the region that align with Iranian interests, puts Lebanon at risk of Arab economic sanctions, among other dangerous developments, urging the Shi’ite militia to stick by Beirut’s policy of “disassociation” from regional conflicts.