Lebanese PM Resigns Over Fear of Iran-Led Assassination; Israel Says It’s a ‘Wake-Up Call’
JNS.org – Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his sudden resignation on Saturday, citing fear of an assassination plot backed by Iran.
Hariri made the announcement from Saudi Arabia, comparing the current situation in Lebanon to the time leading up to the assassination of his father, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, in 2005.
“I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life,” Saad Hariri said.
In his address, Hariri sternly criticized Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah of fueling conflict throughout the Middle East.
“I point very clearly to Iran, which spreads destruction and strife wherever it is,” he said, noting the Islamic Republic’s “interventions in the internal matters of the Arab countries, in Lebanon and Syria and Bahrain and Yemen.”
Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum, a senior research fellow at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told JNS.org that the events surrounding Hariri’s resignation are “basically a Saudi-led protest against Hezbollah’s activity in Lebanon,” referencing the ongoing regional rivalry between the Sunni power of Saudi Arabia and the Shi’a power of Iran. Hariri leads the Future Movement, a Sunni political party.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hariri’s resignation should serve as “a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression that is trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon.”
“This aggression endangers not only Israel but the entire Middle East. The international community needs to unite and confront this aggression,” said Netanyahu.