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In his speech, Hariri, a Sunni politician, also pointed to Hezbollah, the powerful Iranian-backed Shia militant group in Lebanon, CNN reported. Speaking from the Saudi capital Riyadh, Hariri cited Iran's "grip" on the country and threats to his life. "Our nation will rise just as it did before, and the hands that will harm it will be cut", said the resigned prime minister.

Hariri, who is closely allied with Saudi Arabia, alleged in a broadcast from an undisclosed location that Hezbollah was "directing weapons" at Yemenis, Syrians and Lebanese. It took office in a political deal that made Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, president, and was seen as a victory for Iran.

Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's Druze minority, said Lebanon was too weak to bear the consequences of Hariri's resignation, saying he feared political and economic fallout. Hariri hoped he could represent the interests of the Sunni Muslim community and that his cabinet could restore governance and stability to Lebanon.

But in order to understand the actual dynamics leading to Hariri's resignation, it is necessary to keep in mind how he, backed by Riyadh like his assassinated father, came to be prime minister to begin with only a year ago.

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"What's the difference between Hezbollah and ISIS?" he asked.

Nasrallah wondered if Saudi Arabia was holding Hariri against his will and whether Hariri was not permitted to return to Lebanon. He indeed formed a coalition government that brought together most of Lebanon's political parties, including Hizbollah. "To the extent that Lebanon works and functions, Hezbollah derives legitimacy from being part of that", said Brandon Friedman, a scholar at Tel Aviv University's Dayan Center. "Hezbollah is an organization with military power stronger than the Lebanese army, and the new development is that Hezbollah has some control over the Lebanese military", he said. All of Hariri's statements attested to the continuation of his future plans as prime minister. "As Hezbollah matured and played a more integral role in governance, it wanted to be seen as creating the means for a stronger, more effective Lebanon".

It is hard to predict how Hariri's resignation will effect Israeli interests.

Hariri has visited Saudi Arabia twice in the past week, meeting Crown Prince Mohammed and other senior officials. "Of course, Iran is accused of interference". Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh sought to calm fears the political turmoil would hit Lebanon's already fragile economy, issuing a statement to reaffirm the stability of its currency, which is pegged against the US dollar.


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