Lebanon is 'declaring war' on Saudi Arabia, Saudi minister says

Gutterres's comments came following the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri on Saturday.

It was through a deal between enemies he struck with Iran-backed Hezbollah. But it has succeeded in killing thousands of innocent people, displacing millions, and helping Tehran position itself as the defender of the oppressed in the Middle East.

Speaking in an interview on Future, an Arabic television channel owned by Hariri, he said Hariri was in Riyadh, adding there were "security threats to the prime minister and the kingdom is keen on his safety". He went on to denounce Hezbollah - a powerful force in Lebanon - and said he feared for his own life.

Hezbollah's close ties to Iran and its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his war with rebels have been a major source of tension in Lebanon for years.

Nasrallah said "legitimate questions" were being asked over whether Hariri had been detained in Saudi Arabia, where news emerged on Sunday that royals, ministers and investors had been arrested in an anti-corruption purge.

But the cash price of Lebanon's US dollar-denominated bonds fell, with longer-dated maturities suffering hefty losses as investors took a dim view of the medium-to longer-term outlook for Lebanon. This was quickly judged to be more than a rhetorical flourish by Sabhan, as the Saudi minister stressed that Riyadh will henceforth treat Lebanon as a "hostile government". "The message to Hezbollah is that Lebanon is not going to be Iraq or Syria, that Hezbollah dominance and Iranian primacy won't be permitted without a challenge". "They hope a chaotic situation and difficulties assembling a government will limit Hezbollah's ability to maneuver and to achieve its objectives". But the missile strike underscores the potential for the conflict to grow beyond Yemen's borders.

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"When the moment of truth arrives, "Israel's" allies, with the United States in the lead, should give it full backing", he mentioned.

The prime minister must be a Sunni in Lebanon's sectarian system. "Hezbollah is an organization with military power stronger than the Lebanese army, and the new development is that Hezbollah has some control over the Lebanese military", he said.

As reported yesterday by JOL, Hariri declared his resignation during a speech in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh. "It is up to its leaders to allow for a state of terrorism or peace", he added. He indeed formed a coalition government that brought together most of Lebanon's political parties, including Hizbollah. When Saudi Arabia sealed Qatar's only land border, it looked toward Iran and Turkey to fill the gap.

It was not so veiled an accusation.

Hazran said: "I'm not sure this will effect Israel".

  • Megan Austin