by Our Foreign Desk LEBANESE intelligence agencies denied any knowledge yesterday of a supposed plot to kill Prime Minister Saad Hariri after he flew to
Saudi Arabia and announced his resignation.
Mr Hariri, whose family made its wealth through the Saudi Oger construction company in Saudi Arabia and who travels on a Saudi passport, blamed Iran and Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah for his decision.
He said that “Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off” for meddling in Arab affairs, adding: “The evil that Iran spreads in the region will backfire on it.”
The Saudi regime, which has financed al-Qaida and other jihadist groups in Syria, has made a number of recent threats against Hezbollah.
Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan tweeted a warning to Beirut last Sunday and followed this with another statement the next day. “I addressed my tweet to the government because the party of Satan [Hezbollah] is represented in it and it is a terrorist party. “The issue is not about toppling the government, but rather that Hezbollah should be toppled. The coming developments will definitely be astonishing.”
“The sudden resignation of Mr Hariri and its announcement in another country are not only regrettable and astonishing but also indicative of him playing in a court that the ill-wishers in the region have laid out,” Mr Qassemi said.
“The winners in this field are not Arab and Muslim countries but the zionist regime, which has defined its existence in tensions in and among the Muslim countries in the region.”
In Lebanon, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, the head of the General Security intelligence agency, said he knew nothing of plots to kill politicians.
The country’s division of political influence is based on a pre-independence formula devised by the French colonial power.
The post of prime minister is reserved for a Sunni Muslim, while the president is always a Maronite Christian and the parliamentary speaker a Shi’ite.
Speaker Nabih Berri of the Amal movement recently proposed that new parliamentary elections be held before the end of the year, which would be expected to result in reduced influence for Saudi Arabia’s allies.
Mr Hariri’s resignation is probably intended to provoke a constitutional crisis in Lebanon and prevent new elections taking place. firstname.lastname@example.org