Saudi minister says he has 'confirmed information' on plot to kill Hariri


Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group, on Sunday accused Saudi Arabia of dictating Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's resignation, which threatens to throw the Middle East nation into chaos.

"Over the past decades, Hezbollah has used its weapons against the Lebanese and Syrians to impose a fait accompli in Lebanon", he said, reiterating his rejection of using Lebanon as a platform "to threaten the security of the region".

Saad Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016, heading a 30-member national unity cabinet that included Hezbollah after a years-long spell without a government in the country. "Iran very much wants to bring chaos and destruction to the Arab world, but the evil it is sowing will return to it and attack it like a boomerang", he said.

Assad and his Iranian-supported allies are now firmly in command of the war in Syria, in a humiliation to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. The nation was without a cohesive government and leadership for almost two years.

The Hezbollah chief did not directly address the accusations levelled by what he called Hariri's "very hard" speech, saying only that these were "a matter for Saudi Arabia".

Speaking from the Saudi capital Riyadh, Hariri cited Iran's "grip" on the country and threats to his life.

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His father, Rafik al-Hariri, was prime minister after Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war and was assassinated in a auto bombing in 2005.

In Lebanon's sectarian system the president must be a Maronite Catholic, the prime minister a Sunni and the speaker of parliament a Shi'ite.

A Saudi minister said on Saturday that Hariri's personal security detail had "confirmed information" about the plot.

"I announce my resignation as a prime minister", he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was concerned by Hariri's resignation and hoped all sides in the country would back its state institutions, his spokesman on Lebanon Stephane Dujarric said in an emailed statement.