BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri Wednesday lambasted Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah for "luring" Lebanon’s official television channel into airing his “offensive” remarks against Saudi Arabia.
“All Lebanon needed after all the problems Hezbollah has accumulated on Lebanon was to plunge Tele Liban into the media and political boxing ring and lure it into the trap of participation [crossfire], in a show of insults against Saudi Arabia and its leadership ... through the infamous interview with Hezbollah’s secretary-general,” Hariri said in a statement.
He said his main concern was the use of government-run media outlets as platforms for insults “to undermine a sisterly Arab country and insult Saudi Arabia, its officials and its role ... for the sake of Iran and its regional policies.”
“It's unfortunate and painful to allow some Lebanese platforms to be exploited to this extent and be partners for platforms used by butcher Bashar Assad,” Hariri said.
Hariri pointed to what he said was Riyadh’s support for Hezbollah during the 2006 war with Israel.
“History has written and will write in golden letters what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has offered to Lebanon,” he added.
Hariri unleashed a scathing attack against Iran, accusing it of spreading its "revolution" to Lebanon.
“Since Iran decided to export its revolution to Lebanon, it has been offering Lebanese consecutive meals of division and material for sectarian strife,” he said.
Hariri said Iran uses Hezbollah as an “armed militia organization working under the leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to carry out its tasks independently of the Lebanese state, its laws and legitimate institutions.”
He pointed out that Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen have “lived and grew in the confines of the Iranian Revolutionary Gaurds since 2002.”
"Iran wants to clone the Lebanese model in Yemen, and has been working for the past two years to make the Houthi Ansarullah a copy of the Lebanese Hezbollah, in order to become a tool in its hand to knock the doors of Mecca and the Arabian Gulf,” Hariri warned.
He said responsibility required Lebanese not only to keep silent about errors but to protect the interests of Lebanon and its people and “respond to the licentious voices, old and young, who insult Saudi Arabia and its leaders.”
“Saudi Arabia knows very well that Lebanon will not sell its Arabism to offenders, and the Lebanese people also know that the kingdom will not abandon Lebanon.”