(JNS.org) Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Sunday that he is a “free man” and will return to his country “within days.”
In an hour-long live interview with Lebanon’s Future TV that was broadcast from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Hariri appeared despondent and at times seemed to be holding back tears, fueling speculation that his sudden resignation earlier this month was made under pressure from Saudi Arabia.
“I am freely in the kingdom, and if I want to travel tomorrow, I will travel. I have a family, and it is my right to protect them,” Hariri said, attempting to quash rumors that he is being held in Saudi Arabia against his will.
Hariri explained that his resignation was not officially accepted in Lebanon because it was announced from Riyadh.
“I have resigned. I am going to Lebanon very soon and I will resign in the constitutional manner,” he said.
In his resignation speech, Hariri cited fear of an assassination plot backed by Iran, and sternly criticized the Islamic Republic and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah for fueling conflict throughout the Middle East.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hariri’s resignation should serve as “a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression that is trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon.”