Hariri Deems 'Shameful' Use of Media to Attack Saudi, Warns of Iran's Plot to Turn Yemen into Lebanon

Head of the Mustaqbal Movement MP Saad Hariri remarked on Wednesday that Lebanon was “not in need of further problems created by Hizbullah”, the latest of which was dragging Tele Liban in the political and media battlefield in the country.

He condemned in a statement the use of “Lebanese media outlets to target friendly Arab countries and Saudi Arabia similar to the practices adopted by some suspicious voices and yellow journalism that want Lebanon to become a partner in antagonizing its Arab brothers for the sake of Iran and its regional policies.”

“Remaining silent over this issue is not justified, whether for the sake of dialogue, which we still seek, or for the sake of placing national interests above foreign ones, especially after witnessing officials from the other side of the divide being adept at jeopardizing these interests on a daily basis,” he added.

“It is unfortunate that Lebanon is being used to these ends, such as linking it to regional conflicts,” he lamented.

“It is unfortunate that some of our media have become outlets to the butcher Bashar Assad in harming a state that has only offered goodness to the Lebanese people and whose officials have only spoken well of it since Lebanon's independence,” Hariri said in reference to Saudi Arabia, while noting its positive role in helping end the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war and 2006 Israeli war.

“History will play witness to what Saudi Arabia presented to Lebanon and none of the poisonous voices will be able to alter or tarnish this truth,” Hariri stressed.

“Saudi Arabia's actions in the region stem from its belief in protecting the Arab identity and the rights of its people to security, stability, and development, as opposed to other countries, like Iran that seek to destroy this stability and turn Arab capitals into open grounds for sectarian and armed chaos,” declared the lawmaker.

“Ever since Iran sought to export its revolution to Lebanon, it has presented the Lebanese with division and fuel to stoke civil strife,” he noted.

“It transformed Hizbullah into an armed militia and military force led by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and operating independently from the state, its laws and legitimate institutions,” he added.

“It has become apparent to observers that Iran does not pay heed to Arab countries and their official institutions as much as it is interested in infiltrating societies and manipulating sectarian tensions,” Hariri stated.

Iran is working on empowering groups and parties that are under the wing the Revolutionary Guards or the strategic project of the Iranian agenda in the region, he continued.

“This was evident in Lebanon 35 years ago when Hizbullah came out of the Iranian womb and it is repeating itself in Yemen with the rise of the armed Huthi movement, known as Ansarullah, that grew out of the Revolutionary Guards fold in 2002,” he explained.

“Iran seeks to replicate the Lebanese scenario in Yemen where it has been fashioning the Ansarullah Huthi movement in the shape of Hizbullah in order to transform it into a pawn at the doorstep of Mecca and the Arab Gulf,” he noted.

“Saudi Arabia has sought to combat this plan, even though it took place at the last minute, through political means and calls to hold dialogue, but to no avail,” he said.

“It consequently resorted to military operation Decisive Storm to prevent Yemen from committing the same error as Lebanon did,” Hariri added.

“Lebanon has been dealing with this error on the basis of safeguarding national interests, averting strife, and preventing further Iranian meddling in our daily life,” he explained.

“It is our duty not to remain silent over the ongoing error,” he demanded, while reiterating calls to keep Lebanon at a distance from regional wars.

“It is our duty to also not remain silent over the major and minor voices that are harming Saudi Arabia and its leadership,” he stated.

“Saudi Arabia knows very well that Lebanon will not sell its Arab identity to those who seek to harm it,” he stressed.

“The Lebanese people know that the kingdom will not abandon it no matter how high the harmful voices are raised,” he declared.

Hariri made his statement on the wake of the outrage over Tele Liban's airing of an interview with Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Monday during which he renewed his harsh criticism of Saudi Arabia and its role in the region, most notably in Yemen and Syria.

Nasrallah declared that Saudi Arabia will suffer a “major defeat” in the Yemeni conflict, as he stressed that “the war on Syria” has failed.

“Saudi Arabia will suffer a major defeat that will have an impact on its domestic situation and the entire region,” he told al-Ikhbariya in an interview that was broadcast by Tele Liban.

Saudi Arabia began its airstrikes in Yemen on March 25, announcing that it had put together a coalition of more than 10 countries, including five Gulf monarchies, for the military operation to defend Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi's government against the Shiite Huthi rebels.

The military move against the rebels triggered fury from Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran, Hizbullah's main regional ally, with officials in Tehran warning that the military action threatened to spill over into other countries.

Critics of Tele Liban, Lebanon's official state television, said it had violated its objective media reporting by broadcasting an interview by Nasrallah from Syrian television.



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