Lebanon at the crossroads again after PM resignation
10 November, 2017
The shock resignation of Lebanon's PM Saad Hariri (pictured), announced in Riyadh last Sunday, raises fears for new crisis development in the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia and Iran face off over Yemen. In a TV speech Hariri said he feared for his life and accused Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of taking over his country and destabilising the broader region.
For its part, Hezbollah accused Riyadh of forcing Hariri to resign. Riyadh and aides to the Lebanese leader, whose families made their fortune in the Saudi construction industry, strongly denied reports that he has been detained or was forced to quit.
Hariri’s coalition, which took office last year, grouped nearly all of Lebanon’s main parties, including Hezbollah. It took office in a political deal that made Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, president, and was seen as a victory for Iran. Last Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called Aoun and according to the state news agency IRNA he told him that Iran will do all it can to bolster the stability of Lebanon. The new PM has to be a Sunni again and it's not clear who might succeed Hariri, Lebanon’s most influential Sunni politician.