Lebanese PM Saad Hariri resigns over 'fear for life'

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Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri
Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri

New Delhi : In a surprise move, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned from his post on Saturday during a trip to Saudi Arabia. The resignation is expected to plunge the country into uncertainty amid heightened regional tensions. 

"I announce my resignation from the post of prime minister," Hariri said in a televised address from Riyadh. 

The former prime minister expressed concerns over the safety of his life in his resignation. In his speech, he suggested said the atmosphere in the country is similar to the one that existed before his father, the late prime minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in 2005.

Hariri fired a vicious tirade against Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group for what he said was their meddling in Arab affairs and said “Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off.”

“The evil that Iran spreads in the region will backfire on it,” Hariri said, accusing Tehran of spreading chaos, strife and destruction throughout the region.

Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016 and headed a 30-member national unity cabinet that included the Shiite militant Hezbollah. The government has largely succeeded in protecting the country from the effects of the civil war in neighbouring Syria.