Lebanese PM Hariri calls Hezbollah a “big obstacle” to forming a new government

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri blamed Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, for what he called a “big obstacle” in efforts to form a new government, indicating there could be no solution if it did not back down. Hezbollah, a heavily armed Shi’ite Muslim group backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been demanding that one of the six Sunni Muslim lawmakers that are allied to Iran, be given a cabinet position. Nevertheless, the designated Prime Minister Hariri has refused to give up one of the seats allocated for his mainly Sunni party. Speaking at a news conference in Beirut, six months after a parliamentary election that triggered complex negotiations to form a government, Hariri warned that the consequences that the country would bear was upon Hezbollah’s responsibility, if a new government cannot be formed. Saad Al-Hariri stated that “The truth is that formation of the government hit a big obstacle, some might want to call it the obstacle of March 8 Sunnis (Hezbollah-dominated political bloc), but I see it bigger than this.”/ “It’s very unfortunate that Hezbollah has put itself in a position, so it is (Hezbollah’s) responsibility for obstructing the government.” / “I did my part and the government is ready. President (Michel) Aoun and Speaker (Nabih) Berri know this. Let everyone do their part, so that the country can move forward.” Hezbollah, Israel’s arch enemy that is labelled as a terrorist movement by the United States, is expected to take three ministries in the new Lebanese cabinet. Its ongoing actions have delayed a formation of a new Lebanese government that must be formed before any actions can be made towards fiscal reforms, which the International Monetary Fund announced in June “are needed immediately to improve debt sustainability in Lebanon.”