Iran not to interfere in Lebanon's internal affairs: Spokesman

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi underlined Tehran's principled policy of non-interference in other states' internal affairs, including Lebanon, and hoped for the restoration of stability and security in the Arab country.

"Lebanon's issues are related to the Lebanese themselves and we will not interfere in Lebanon's issues and based on our principled policies, we never interfere in other countries' internal affairs," Qassemi told reporters in his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday.

He underscored that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's resignation is an internal issue of Lebanon, and expressed the hope that Hariri would return to his country, security and stability would be restored in the Arab state and problems would be resolved as soon as possible.

Asked by reporters about Iran's reaction to Saudi Arabia's possible provocative moves against Lebanon, Qassemi said, "We cannot speak on the basis of assumptions. We pursue our general policy of non-interference in others' internal affairs."

"We hope that conditions in Lebanon would not go towards further complications, violence and differences, and the conditions prevailing before (Hariri's) resignation would be restored, and the process which started in Lebanon and was highly positive and satisfactory to all groups would be materialized again," he said.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Saturday Hariri, who announced his resignation in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia, has been “kidnapped” and must have immunity.

Aoun made the remarks in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in the capital Beirut, a senior unnamed Lebanese official said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in a statement released by Aoun's office on Saturday, the Lebanese president expressed concern over Hariri's situation and said the premier was living in a “dubious” situation in Saudi Arabia. He added that anything Hariri has said or may say “does not reflect reality” due to the mystery of his situation.

Any stance or move by Hariri “is the result of the dubious and mysterious situation that he is living in the kingdom,” Aoun added.

Aoun further called on Riyadh to clarify why Hariri hasn't returned home since announcing his resignation in the kingdom last week.

“Lebanon does not accept its prime minister being in a situation at odds with international treaties and the standard rules in relations between states,” he said.

He added that a marathon planned in Beirut on Sunday in which tens of thousands are expected to participate should be “a national sports demonstration for solidarity with Prime Minister Hariri and his return to his country.”

Meanwhile, the Arabic-language al-Joumhouria (The Republic) daily newspaper quoted Aoun as saying on Saturday that Beirut would refer Hariri’s case to the UN Security Council within a week if his destiny remains unclear.

Hariri announced his resignation on November 4, citing several reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon, for his sudden decision. He also said that he realized a plot being hatched against his life.

Hariri also accused Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, of meddling in the Arab countries’ affairs; an allegation the two have rejected.

The Lebanese prime minister announced his resignation following visits to Saudi Arabia.

The resignation also comes less than a month after he announced plans to join a coalition government with Hezbollah.

Many authorities in Lebanon have insisted on the return of Hariri from Saudi Arabia. Several sources believe that Saudi Arabia is holding Hariri against his will, a claim the kingdom has rejected.



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