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Saudi meddling in Lebanon ‘shameful’: Iran president

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani addresses a government meeting in Tehran on November 15. (Photo by IRNA)

The Iranian president denounces Saudi Arabia’s interference in Lebanon, saying it is “shameful” that a Muslim state has “begged” the Israeli regime to carry out military strikes against the Lebanese nation.

“It is very reprehensible and shameful for a Muslim country in the region to beg the Zionist regime [of Israel] to bomb the people of Lebanon,” President Hassan Rouhani said at a government meeting on Wednesday.

“It is unprecedented in history for a Muslim country to take such measures, and this indicates the immaturity of the individuals, who have come to power in those countries,” Rouhani added.

Secretary General of the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on November 10 that Saudi Arabia had appealed to the Israeli regime to launch a military onslaught against Lebanon in the name of fighting Hezbollah, and was ready to spend billions of dollars to attain this objective.

Nasrallah’s comments came days after Saad Hariri announced his resignation as Lebanon’s prime minister in Riyadh, where he is reported to be under arrest.

Last Saturday, Reuters quoted Hariri sources as saying that Saudi Arabia “has concluded that the prime minister had to go because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah.” Riyadh is uneasy with Hezbollah’s considerable military and political influence in Lebanon, which has significantly contributed to the country’s security.

Rouhani further said forcing out the prime minister of an independent country and even naming a replacement is “open interference” and a “very rare development in history.”

Addressing the meddlers, he asked, “What position are you in and by relying on what authority do you take such measures? How long do you think [your] money can serve [your] purposes?”

‘Shameless Saudi still attacking Yemen’

Rouhani further lashed out at the Saudi regime for its bloody military campaign against Yemen and asked, “Why has a country, which considers itself to be serving the two sanctuaries [of Mecca and Medina], come to pressure the innocent and Muslim people of Yemen in such a way?”

Leading a number of its vassal states, Saudi Arabia has been conducting military strikes on Yemen since March 2015 to restore a former pro-Riyadh regime.

More than 12,000 have died since the war began.

The Saudi-led coalition has also been enforcing a land, aerial, and naval blockade on Yemen. The siege has pushed around seven million people in the impoverished country to the brink of famine.

The Iranian chief executive added that Riyadh has never either apologized or expressed regret over the invasion, and continues its atrocities in Yemen.

“The United Nations has adopted silence in the face of these crimes, and refuses to take a decisive and binding position, and European powers support such crimes as well,” he asserted.

Foreign meddling in region

The president also said the Middle East region has never benefited from foreign meddling.

“Some parties in the region once thought that by presence of big powers, security would be established here. Therefore, some relied on the UK, the US and foreign powers,” he said, adding, “Today, however, everyone has completely witnessed that the presence of foreign powers has brought no benefit to the region.”

The foreigners used their presence in the region to promote and sell their weapons, interfere in regional market, and manipulate oil prices, Rouhani said.

Whenever American officials came to visit the region, the flames of war and tension went up in some area there, he concluded.

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