Velayati: Iran Hopes Hariri Will Return As Lebanon’s PM
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei's international affairs advisor Ali Akbar Velayati Tuesday refuted comments made by Prime Minister Saad Hariri about Velayati's meeting with the premier, and said Iran hoped Hariri would remain Lebanon's prime minister.
"Hariri claims that he asked me [during our] meeting in Beirut, to stop Iran's intervention in Lebanon's affairs - this is not true and is just Saudi dictations," Velayati said.
"Such a conversation did not even happen and [our talk] was not sharp, nor full of threats and challenges. These are all lies," he went on, adding, "The Saudis are not ready for Lebanon to be in a peaceful and secure stable state, and [for there to be] friendship between the Iranian and Lebanese people."
Velayati said Tehran hoped Hariri would return to Lebanon and continue in his role as prime minister, "if Lebanese law allows."
The Iranian official's statements came during a press conference connected to an unrelated event, according to Iranian news agency Fares.
Hariri met Velayati on Nov. 3 and the pair reportedly discussed bilateral relations. Later that same day, Hariri flew to Saudi Arabia, from where he unexpectedly announced his resignation in a statement broadcast from Riyadh.
During Hariri's resignation address on Nov. 4, he railed against Iranian interference in the region, and in Lebanon via Hezbollah.
Immediately following Velayati's meeting with Hariri, the Iranian official said that the Islamic Republic was committed to supporting Lebanon. He also praised the country for its victories against terrorism.
Hariri "wanted to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia and we welcomed," Velayati said Tuesday of that meeting. "We [Iran] stressed that we have no problem with the Saudis, but [we take issue with] the fact that they have been bombing Yemen for more than two years, and have besieged it while 700 thousand Yemenis are infected with cholera."
Such issues have nothing to do with politics, Velayati said, adding that the Saudis must negotiate with Yemen to resolve these humanitarian issues.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team