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Hariri Says Rouhani Can't Tell Lebanese What to Do, Hails Bin Salman

Prime Minister Saad Hariri has stressed that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani does not have the right to dictate decisions to the Lebanese, as he hailed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Rouhani can't tell us what to do. Iran is trying to show its strength in the region and a part of this is the propaganda that the Iranians are practicing to show that they are in control in Syria, but where is this control?” Hariri told Saudi Arabia's Arrajol magazine, in his first interview in Paris since arriving there from Riyadh.

Hariri also spoke about his relation with Saudi Arabia's powerful and young crown prince.

“The crown prince has a vision and only a few leaders possess a vision. Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a man of vision and he has capabilities and resolve and he is working to meet the challenges,” the premier added.

Hariri, whose resignation from Saudi Arabia earlier this month caused widespread consternation, is set to return to Beirut on Wednesday as part of a deal brokered by France.

After quitting he spent some two weeks holed up in Riyadh, prompting accusations from political rivals that he was being “detained” by the Saudis.

Hariri strongly denied he was being held against his will and flew to Paris on the weekend to meet President Emmanuel Macron.


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