November 4, 2017 / 4:19 PM / 14 days ago

Iran says resignation of Lebanese PM will create tension in region

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday that the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri would create tension in Lebanon and the region.

Hariri accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world in his resignation statement earlier on Saturday.

“The resigning Lebanese prime minister’s repetition of the unrealistic and unfounded accusations of the Zionists, Saudis and Americans against Iran is an indication that this resignation is a new scenario for creating tension in Lebanon and the region,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement published on the ministry website.

“But we believe that the resistant people of Lebanon will pass this stage easily.”

Hariri’s resignation comes only a day after he met Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Beirut.

“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 winner of this game is not Arabic or Muslim countries but the Zionists,” Qassemi said.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; editing by Andrew Roche

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