Last Iranian official met PM Hariri speaks out


“Our meeting was not tense or violent at all. These are all lies,” Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said about a meeting with Hariri on November 3.

“Hariri claims that in our meeting he asked Iran to stop interfering in the Lebanese affairs, but he did not say such a thing,” Velayati was quoted as saying by Iranian state television’s website.

Hariri resigned abruptly on Nov. 4 while in Saudi Arabia, saying he believed there was an assassination plot against him and accusing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world.

Velayati accused Saudi Arabia of fanning the flames of tension as it “could not tolerate the strategic friendship” between Tehran and Beirut.

Hariri’s resignation plunged Lebanon into a new political crisis and thrust it into the front line of a regional power play between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi‘ite Iran that has also buffeted Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.

Velayati said Hariri in their meeting offered to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia and he welcomed the offer.

Read full article on Reuters, November 14, 2017.


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