Saudi Arabia has "questions to answer" over the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the subsequent rise in regional tensions, Iran's ambassador to France, Abolghassem Delfi, told FRANCE 24 on Wednesday.
Hariri's shock resignation on November 4 during a last-minute trip to Saudi Arabia led to speculation the Gulf kingdom had orchestrated the move as part of a power play against regional rival for influence Iran. Hariri cited the influence of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanese politics as one of the reasons he was stepping down.
That Hariri remained in Saudi Arabia until last weekend led to accusations he was being detained there against his will. He has, however, now returned to Lebanon and put his resignation on hold.
According to Delfi, the episode is the latest of a long line of destabilising actions in the region by Saudi Arabia.
"Tension in the region started rising a few years ago first with Syria then Yemen and more recently Qatar and now Lebanon," he said, suggesting that
"We always notice that certain events have provoked a rise in tension in the region for other motives which are Saudi domestic motives," he said, citing "Syria, Yemen and more recently Qatar and now Lebanon," as examples.
"It's for Saudi Arabia to answer the question why have they acted in this way, why are they acting in a detrimental way to security and calm."