Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri Announces Sudden Resignation


Mr Hariri has been prime minister since December 2016, after previously holding the position between 2009 and 2011.

The Lebanese economy and pound are not in danger following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Saturday, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil told Reuters.

Hariri also lashed out at Iran and its ally Hezbollah, a Shi'ite militia operating in Lebanon for interfering in the affairs of Arab countries. "I will continue to call for dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran".

In a statement, ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi also dismissed al-Hariri's anti-Iran remarks as "unfounded and baseless", saying Hariri's allegations are similar to those regularly claimed by the Zionists, Saudis and the United States.

Aoun's office said Hariri had called him from "outside Lebanon" to inform him of his resignation.

The country's political future is unclear after their leader resigns, attacking Iran and Hezbollah for meddling in Arab affairs.

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Mr Hairi said Hezbollah's policies have put Lebanon "in the eye of the storm".

"Lebanon and the great Lebanese people became in the eye of the storm and subjected to global condemnations and economic sanctions because of Iran and its arm Hezbollah".

The coalition government he led brought together nearly all of the main political parties in Lebanon, including Hezbollah.

"The sudden resignation of Mr. Hariri and his statement in another country is not only surprising and regrettable but is also an indication of his playing a game designed by those who want ill for the region, and the victor of this game is not Arabic or Muslim countries but the Zionists", Qassemi said.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his suprise resignation on November 4, 2017 in a televised speech.

Hariri's father was assassinated in February 2005 when a bomb struck his motorcade near the Beirut seafront.

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Several Hezbollah members are being tried in absentia for the killing by a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

The resignation risks exacerbating sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and returning Lebanon to paralysis in government. The Mediterranean country has a large Christian population as well. The latter group facilitated the withdrawal of the Syrian forces from Lebanon in 2005. They first came as peacekeepers to help stop Lebanon's civil war but remained long after the fighting stopped in 1990. Hariri has frequently called on the group to withdraw its fighters from Syria.

Saudi Arabia is Iran's main regional rival, and the two powers' tussle for influence has played out in ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Iran, said Netanyahu, "is trying to turn Syria into Lebanon II".

The fact that Hariri's announcement was made in Riyadh was an important clue, she said.

Al-Sabhan met with Hariri in Saudi Arabia when the now resigned prime minister was visiting earlier this week.

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