Lebanon’s prime minister resigns over assassination fear
Saad Hariri quits in televised broadcast, saying he fears a plot against him and criticising Iran and Hezbollah
Saad Hariri said the atmosphere in Lebanon was similar to that before the assassination of his father.
The prime minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, has resigned, saying he fears an assassination plot, and criticising Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
“We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of [his father, the late prime minister] martyr Rafik Hariri. I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life,” he said in a televised speech on Saturday.
Hariri said Iran was “losing in its interference in the affairs of the Arab world”, and that Lebanon would “rise as it had done in the past” and “cut off the hands that wickedly extend into it”.
The 47-year-old became prime minister late last year after a political deal that also brought the Hezbollah ally Michel Aoun to office as president.
Hezbollah is politically dominant in Lebanon, but its ties to Iran and its support for the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, have angered some Lebanese.
Hariri has visited Saudi Arabia, a political foe of Iran and Hezbollah, twice in the past week. Beirut-based al-Jadeed television reported that his resignation statement was made and broadcast from the Saudi capital, Riyadh.