Lebanon PM tells supporters he is standing with them
… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Hariri is back in Lebanon, but where he really stands and whose interests he is really supporting remain to been seen.
After his disgraceful showing in Saudi Arabia, where he read out his resignation like a condemned criminal having made a deal for life imprisonment instead of hanging, he is hardly an independent, with his children left behind in Saudi Arabia as possible hostages.
We then saw the circus widen, as the Saudis pulled all their strings possible to get a new jihad going against Iran and Hezbollah – one that would have to involve war inside Lebanon. The young Crown Prince even revealed the Arab League was just a Saudi dancing puppet on a string, a disgrace that cannot be put back in the box.
The tea leaves had already predicted that Hariri would go back to Lebanon hoping it would be frightened into becoming a proxy Saudi colony. Hariri’s only card is to sell himself as being able to save the country from a civil war. The unsaid is that some “reshuffling” of power would have to take place, with the crosshairs on Hezbollah.
But while Hariri can certainly cause a lot of mischief in Lebanon, he does not rule the roost, with only 2000 supporters to rally outside his house – something his handlers could easily afford to produce.
He is keeping what real cards he has close to his vest now, walking a knife edge. Lebanon wants to keep Saudi money flowing in, where it needs every penny; but neither can it host a proxy war on Hezbollah to keep the Saudis happy. Hariri is playing for more time with his comment:
“[President Aoun] urged me to wait before offering [my resignation] and to hold onto it for more dialogue about its reasons and political background, and I showed responsiveness.”
Hariri mentioned that Lebanon should remain neutral on regional disputes that undermine internal stability. But does that mean he feels Hezbollah, who fought terrorists in Lebanon, should not do so in Syria where they had been winning, in large part due to Saudi support?
Iran has also poured a lot of money into Lebanon, much of it into infrastructure rebuilding, after the Zionists inflicted a brutal collective punishment on the whole country during their last failed war on Lebanon.
The Saudis will want to see Hariri produce some Lebanese concessions, but any made could be a slippery slope for the other parties in Lebanon. Once you start, that card can be played against you over and over. Lebanon is nothing if not a survivor. I bet my money on the home team, admitting my prejudice for the underdog… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … November 22, 2017 –
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says he will stand with his supporters after suspending his shock resignation, which he announced in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
“I’m staying with you. We continue together… We are the people of moderation, the people of stability. We have all come here on the Independence Day to say we have nothing more precious than our country, we have nothing but our country,” Hariri addressed his supporters, who had swarmed the streets adjacent to his house in Beirut to celebrate his return to Lebanon.
“Our principles won’t ever change, and our slogan will be: Lebanon first, Lebanon first, Lebanon first,” he concluded to the cheers of his followers.
The Lebanese prime minister arrived in Beirut late on Tuesday, more than two weeks after unexpectedly announcing he had quit his post. All political factions in Lebanon had called on him to return back home.
Top Lebanese officials and senior politicians close to Hariri had earlier said that he had been forced to resign, and that Saudi authorities were holding him captive. Lebanese President Michel Aoun had also refused to accept Hariri’s resignation.
Hariri announced his resignation in a televised statement on November 4, citing many reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon, for his sudden decision. He also said that he sensed a plot being hatched against his life.
Hariri accused Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement of meddling in Arab countries’ affairs; an allegation the two have repeatedly denied. He became prime minister in 2016 after serving another term between November 2009 and June 2011.
Iran has vehemently rejected Hariri’s remarks, saying his resignation and rehashing of the “unfounded and baseless” allegations regularly leveled by Zionists, Saudis and the US were another scenario to create new tensions in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East.
“The sudden resignation of Mr. Hariri and its announcement in another country are not only regrettable and astonishing, but also indicative of him playing in a court that the ill-wishers in the region have laid out,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi commented.