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Saudis Deny Forcing Lebanese Prime Minister To Resign, Blame Hizballah
11 November 2017, 01:04 | Floyd Cook
Two of the sources said the number of accounts affected could run into the hundreds
According to the deal, staunch Hezbollah ally Michel Aoun became president, while Hariri was appointed prime minister of a unity cabinet including nearly all of Lebanon's main parties.
It is reasonable to assume that Hizbullah, with the support of Iran, will make a great effort to prevent these developments. Hariri, in a televised speech, said there was a plot to kill him, and accused Hezbollah and its Iranian backers of sowing strife in the Arab world. But over time, he acquiesced on this key issue, and Aoun's stance that Hezbollah arms are essential to defending Lebanon from Israel prevailed.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah, said there should be no political escalation in response to Hariri's declaration on Saturday, which was made from Saudi Arabia and came as surprise even to his aides.
Rafik al-Hariri was killed in a 2005 Beirut bomb attack that pushed his son Saad into politics and set off years of turmoil.
"What's the difference between Hezbollah and ISIS?" he asked. "Putting together a coalition that served Hezbollah's interest in governance legitimized it".
Hours after Hariri's resignation, Saudi Arabia's air defense forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile northeast of the capital Riyadh. "The message to Hezbollah is that Lebanon is not going to be Iraq or Syria, that Hezbollah dominance and Iranian primacy won't be permitted without a challenge".
Iran has denied the accusation. "They hope a chaotic situation and difficulties assembling a government will limit Hezbollah's ability to maneuver and to achieve its objectives".
Hizballah is both a military and a political organisation that is represented in the Lebanese parliament and in the Hariri-led coalition government formed last year. This was Saudi and not Lebanese rhetoric, Nasrallah said.
"We do not want explosions and destruction to happen again in the Hariri family", he added, referring to the fatal bombing of Saad al-Hariri's father and prime minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, in 2005. Yemen's fate is still being battled out. Israel has reportedly forged ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states over a shared distrust of Iran. The leader of the Lebanon-based Shia militant group has also appealed for "patience and calm" as Lebanon is teetering on the brink of political instability. The UNIFIL mandate was extended in September 2017, a step that the UN chief welcomed and expressed confidence that it will have a role in supporting a peaceful political environment in Lebanon. Aoun must appoint the candidate with most support among MP's, who he is expected to consult in the coming days.
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