Iran Hopes Hariri Will Return to Lebanon Soon
A spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry on Monday categorically denied interfering in Lebanon's politics, saying that his country hopes Prime Minister Saad Hariri will return to Lebanon soon.
"Lebanon's internal affairs concern Lebanon, and we never intervene in the internal affairs of other countries," Bahram Ghassemi said.
"Hariri's resignation was sudden and suspect, but we hope that with his interview last night, he will return to Lebanon as soon as possible so that the legal process of his resignation can be applied," he added, in quotes reported by state media.
In his first TV interview since he announced his surprise resignation last weekend from Riyadh, Hariri said Sunday he will return to his country from Saudi Arabia "within days" to seek a settlement with Iran-backed Hizbullah.
Hariri, looking downcast and tired, denied he was being held against his will in the kingdom and said he was compelled to resign to save Lebanon from imminent dangers, which he didn't specify.
He held back tears at one point and repeated several times that he resigned to create a "positive shock" and draw attention to the danger of siding with Iran in regional conflicts.
Hariri sounded less belligerent in Sunday's interview than he did during the resignation announcement.
A political crisis has gripped Lebanon since Hariri read his televised resignation from Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4 in which he accused Iran of meddling in Lebanon in a vicious tirade that was uncharacteristic of the usually soft-spoken premier.