Iran: 'Shameful' Saudi Arabia begged Israel to bomb Lebanon

Posted November 16, 2017

Lebanon's president accused Saudi Arabia on Wednesday of detaining his country's prime minister, calling it an act of "aggression" and asking U.N. Security Council nations and European governments to intervene.

Saudi Arabia also seeks to create tension in Lebanon but will not succeed there either, he noted.

The French presidency said Hariri and his family had been "invited" to France after President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone with both Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman and the Lebanese prime minister.

France, Lebanon's onetime colonial ruler, has been trying to mediate in the crisis, and Macron paid a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia last week.

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It was the first time Michel Aoun described Prime Minister Saad Hariri as a detainee of the kingdom, after Hariri announced his resignation under mysterious circumstances from Riyadh 12 days ago.

Officials in Lebanon and the region Wednesday again weighed in on the uncertainty surrounding Prime Minister Saad Hariri's return to Lebanon almost two weeks after he announced his resignation from the Saudi capital Riyadh.

France's foreign minister is expected in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to meet with Hariri and Saudi officials. However, Nasrallah has also said that he would not comment on Hariri's speech that he gave to announce his resignation because he saw it as a "Saudi statement".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile ratcheted up the rhetoric Wednesday against Saudi Arabia, his country's main regional rival, saying the kingdom pressured Hariri to resign in a "rare" intervention in another country's affairs.

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"I told Mr. Hariri to tell the Saudis to stop committing humanitarian crimes in Yemen and hold talks with Yemenis because the problem can be solved politically and not through blind bombardment".

Many analysts and politicians believe that Hariri was forced to resign under pressure from al-Saud family. Political analysts have said that any military clash in Lebanon would be a "proxy war" between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"I want to repeat and confirm: I am totally, totally fine and I'll come back, God willing, to beloved Lebanon like I promised you all". In his statement, Hariri said he was stepping down because he feared the growing influence of Iran on Lebanon's government.

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