Vastavam web: Hezbollah’s leader said on Friday that Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon and his Iran-backed group, accusing Riyadh of detaining Saad al-Hariri and forcing him to resign as Lebanon’s prime minister to destabilise the country.Hariri’s resignation has plunged Lebanon into crisis, thrusting the small Arab country back to the forefront of regional rivalry between the Sunni Muslim monarchy Saudi Arabia and Shi‘ite revolutionary Iran.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, said Saudi Arabia’s detention of Hariri, a long-time Saudi ally who declared his resignation while in Riyadh last Saturday, was an insult to all Lebanese and he must return to Lebanon.“It is clear that Saudi Arabia and Saudi officials have declared war on Lebanon and on Hezbollah in Lebanon,” he said.
Riyadh says Hariri is a free man and he decided to resign because Hezbollah was calling the shots in his government. Saudi Arabia considers Hezbollah to be its enemy in conflicts across the Middle East, including Syria and Yemen.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned other countries and groups against using Lebanon as vehicle for a larger proxy fight in the Middle East, saying Washington strongly backed Lebanon’s independence and respected Hariri as a strong partner of the United States, still referring to him as prime minister.
“There is no legitimate place or role in Lebanon for any foreign forces, militias or armed elements other than the legitimate security forces of the Lebanese state,” Tillerson said in a statement released by the U.S. State Department.The French foreign minister said earlier on Friday that he also believed Hariri was a free man a statement at odds with the later French foreign minstry comment that it wanted Hariri to have “all his freedom of movement”.Hariri has made no public remarks since announcing his resignation in a speech televised from Saudi Arabia, saying he feared assassination and accusing Iran and Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world