Tabnak – While in a televised interview, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that he is free to go back to his country, international observers are still worry about his real situation. In this vein, Iran has once again expressed hope that Hariri may return home, without any sabotage from the Saudis.
According to Press TV, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a press briefing on Monday that Hariri’s Sunday remark that he would return to Lebanon offered "a flicker of hope” that calm would be restored in the Arab country.
Saying that prior to his unexpected resignation Hariri was on the right political course, Qassemi hinted that Hariri’s "strange and unprecedented” move to announce his resignation from a third country had worked to disrupt calm in Lebanon.
He said Iran perceived Hariri’s resignation as "suspicious” but was nevertheless hopeful that he would return to Lebanon and pursue his resignation there. Hariri’s Sunday "remarks provide a flicker of hope that he would return and [in so doing] would help restore calm to Lebanon,” the Iranian official said.
Qassemi also said Lebanon’s internal affairs were its own business and Iran wished stability and security for the Arab country.
Apart from Iran, British foreign secretary in a statement expressed hope that the Lebanese premier "will return to Beirut without further delay.” "Prime Minister Hariri has been a good and trusted partner for the UK,” Boris Johnson said during his telephone conversation with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.
"We urge all parties with an interest in Lebanon to do all they can to encourage this, and to work more broadly to reduce recent tensions.” "I reiterated to him the United Kingdom’s full support for the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.”
In another related development, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Sunday that Hariri's remarks and stance have not been made and taken by himself due to the complicated situation in Saudi Arabia. Commenting on Hariri's speech broadcast by the Future TV from Saudi Arabia, President Aoun said Hariri's stance is "suspicious and ambiguous.”
Hariri announced his shock resignation in Saudi Arabia and in footage broadcast by a Saudi-owned television on November 2. The announcement is widely seen to have been made under Saudi influence.
Lebanese government officials also said they believed Hariri was "being held” in Saudi Arabia against his will, and signaled that his resignation had not been voluntary.
Saudi Arabia has claimed that Hariri is a free man, and in a Sunday interview arranged in Riyadh, Hariri, too, claimed he was free to travel and would return to Lebanon "within days.”