Iran 'hopes Hariri will remain Lebanon's prime minister'

Iran 'hopes Hariri will remain Lebanon's prime minister'
Tue Nov 14, 2017 14:57:41

An Iranian official said on Tuesday Tehran hoped Saad al-Hariri would remain as Lebanon's prime minister and denied Hariri had resigned after a tense meeting with him in Beirut.

(reuters) -- Hariri resigned abruptly on Nov. 4 while in Saudi Arabia, saying he believed there was an assassination plot against him and accusing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world.

Hariri had flown to Riyadh on Nov. 3 after a meeting in Beirut with Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Hariri claims that in our meeting he asked Iran to stop interfering in the Lebanese affairs, but he did not say such a thing," Velayati was quoted as saying by Iranian state television's website.

"Our meeting was not tense or violent at all. These are all lies," he said.

Velayati accused Saudi Arabia of fanning the flames of tension as it "could not tolerate the strategic friendship" between Tehran and Beirut.

(File Photo)

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