Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia forced Lebanese PM to resign

Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia forced Lebanese PM to resign

Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia forced Lebanese PM to resign

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Saturday announced his resignation, according to the official Lebanese news agency.

"The resignation was a Saudi decision dictated to prime minister Saad al-Hariri and forced on him", Nasrallah said in a televised broadcast, adding that there was no domestic reason for Hariri's decision.

On Saturday, the Saudi-funded Al Arabiya television said a plot to assassinate Hariri had been foiled. "The hands that send evil to the Arab states will be cut off and evil will go back to their people".

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Lebanon has been deeply divided for years between factions controlled by the Shiite Tehran-backed Hezbollah and a Saudi-supported movement led by Hariri.

During his resignation, Hairi accused Iran and its Lebanese-based proxy Hezbollah of taking over Lebanon and destabilizing the region.

Along with Iran and Syria, the Lebanese terror group was responsible for the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, which the younger Hariri cited in his resignation speech.

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Following Hariri's decision to step down, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the resignation should be a "wake-up call" to the worldwide community to the threat posed by Iran's regional ambitions, which he said endanger not only Israel but the entire Middle East. "I'm confident that the will of the Lebanese is stronger and they will be able to defeat hegemony from inside and outside", he said.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the kingdom's most prominent businessmen.

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