BEIRUT: The Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon hit back at Hezbollah, saying allegations made against the kingdom over the Iranian Embassy car bomb attack were unfounded and stemmed from confusion.
“Attempts to charge the media and the slanderous campaigns utilized by some [political] sides to attack the [Saudi] kingdom are not based on the political [strategies] carried out by Saudi Arabia toward Lebanon,” Ali Awad Asiri said in remarks published Monday.
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has said he was convinced that a Lebanon-based Al-Qaeda group with direct links to Saudi intelligence was behind last month’s deadly bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.
“We know that some of them took part in this campaign to bootlick their allies or out of fear of them and not because they believe in what they are saying,” Asiri told pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper.
On Nov. 19, two suicide bombers attacked the Iranian Embassy in Bir Hasan, killing at least 30 people and wounded scores others.
The Abdallah Azzam Brigades, a Lebanon-based al-Qaeda group, claimed responsibility for the twin attack and warned of further attacks if Hezbollah failed to withdraw its fighters from Syria.
“These fabricated campaigns were aimed at diverting attention from the confusion that prevailed over the leader’s stances and the split that took place in their ranks,” Asiri said of Nasrallah’s accusations.
Asiri stressed that the Saudi role in Lebanon stems from the fraternal relations between the two countries as well as the Kingdom's keenness on Lebanon's security, stability and prosperity of the people regardless of their religion or political affiliations.
Lebanon has identified the two suicide bombers involved in the embassy attack as a Lebanese and a Palestinian national, both residents of south Lebanon.
Nasrallah said in a recent interview that the bombings were linked to Saudi Arabia’s “anger with Iran because it holds Iran responsible for its own failure in the region.”
Hezbollah is deeply involved in the Syrian crisis next door with fighters dispatched to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.