News ID: 204325
Published: 1023 GMT November 14, 2017

Velayati: Hariri's resignation Lebanon's domestic issue

Velayati: Hariri's resignation Lebanon's domestic issue

Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, called the recent resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri as a “domestic issue” of the Arab country.

Velayati told reporters on Tuesday that only the Lebanese people should decide whether Hariri stay in power or not, IRNA reported.

A day before Hariri’s resignation, the Iranian official held a meeting with the Lebanese prime minister in Beirut. 

Hariri resigned on Nov. 4 while in Saudi Arabia, saying he believed there was an assassination plot against him and accusing Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah movement of meddling in the Arab countries’ affairs, Reuters reported.

Iran and Hezbollah have denied the allegation.

“Hariri claims that in our meeting he asked Iran to stop interfering in the Lebanese affairs, but he did not say such a thing,” Velayati was quoted as saying by Iranian state television’s website.

“Our meeting was not tense or violent at all. These are all lies,” he said.

Velayati accused Saudi Arabia of fanning the flames of tension as it “could not tolerate the strategic friendship” between Tehran and Beirut.

In a television interview on Sunday, Hariri said he would return to his country within days.

He claimed that he had talked about the Iranian interference in Arab countries with Velayati in Beirut.

Velayati said Hariri in their meeting offered to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia and he welcomed the offer.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, angered by the execution of a senior Shia cleric by Riyadh, stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran.

The Iranian official added that Tehran hoped Hariri would return to Lebanon and continue as prime minister.

Valayati stressed that the issues of mutual interests and regional developments were discussed during the meeting, IRNA reported.  

“I told him that we do not have any problem entering negotiations with Riyadh, but tell the Saudis you have been devastating Yemen in the past three years and are preventing food and medicine to reach the Yemeni people”, Velayati said.

“I told Hariri to ask Saudis to stop the genocide in Yemen, negotiate with Yemenis because the Yemen issue only should be settled through the political means not blind bombardment,” he added.



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