Question: Hariri pulled back from his resignation and the ministry met under his chairmanship on 5/12/2017. He then stated that the ministry agreed to “not intervene in the issues (outside Lebanon)” Following Hariri’s actions, the confusion and contradictions were revealed: After years of presidential vacuum in Lebanon, Hariri went to Aoun on 20/10/2016 and he agreed with him on the presidency and the government, knowing that Aoun and Hezbollah are one bloc and that the Hezbollah is the active actor. On 04/11/2017, Hariri announced his resignation in Saudi Arabia and poured his anger at Hezbollah. He pulled back his resignation and continued with the government, including Hezbollah! What is the explanation of this confusion and contradiction? And is there a tendency to reduce the influence of Iran and its party? Do you expect aggression from the Jewish state on Lebanon or on Hezbollah, taking advantage of the current circumstances? May Allah reward you.
Answer: In order to clarify the answer, it is necessary to mention the reality of the relationship between the Hariri family and Saudi Arabia: Hariri is a follower of Saudi Arabia. If the Saudi ruler was loyal to the British, then this will be reflected in Hariri, in his behavior, in his policy in Lebanon and similarly if the ruler is pro-American. Based on this, we can answer as follows:
1- The former Lebanese president Michel Suleiman’s term in office has ended in May 2014, and the ruler in Saudi Arabia was King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, and because Abdullah was loyal to the British and because there was a determination from Hezbollah to make Aoun the president, and it is known that Hezbollah and Aoun were backed by pro-American Iran, so King Abdullah did not agree for Aoun to become the president of Lebanon, and so he ordered Saad Hariri to oppose Aoun’s candidacy for the presidency. Saad Hariri was in his policy tied to Saudi policy, i.e. the policy of Abdullah and therefore the position of the Presidency of the Lebanese Republic has been vacant for almost two and a half years since the end of the office term of Michel Suleiman in May 2014 until noon on Monday when the Lebanese Parliament convened and the election of Aoun as President of the Republic and that was on 31/10/2016.
2- What helped is the change in the rule in Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah died on January 23/1/2015, and his brother, Salman, took over from him. As it is well known, he is pro-American. This king started with clipping the wings of the pro-British sons of king Abdullah and his former supporters untill he readied the atmosphere for his rule. After things settled, and because America wanted to stabilize the situation in Lebanon in its own way by electing Aoun as the President of the Republic, America asked Salman to order Hariri not to oppose this! That is why Saad Hariri went to Aoun and agreed with him and nominated him for the presidency. In other words, the opposition led by Saad Hariri in the era of Abdullah has ended in the era of Salman! (President Saad Hariri arrived from his residence (Bait Al-Wasat) and nominated MP Michel Aoun for the Presidency of the Republic in the presence of members of his bloc, headed by President Fuad Siniora and MP Bahia Hariri. He then delivered a speech in which he said: “Based on the points of agreement we reached, I declare before you today my decision to support the election of General Michel Aoun for the Presidency of the Republic “… An-Nahar 20/10/2016).
And after that, the Parliament was held on 31/10/2016 and Aoun was elected President of the Republic…” The support of the leader of the Al-Mustaqbal bloc, Saad Hariri, is what facilitated the presidential elections after a vacancy of two years and five months since the end of the office term of former Lebanese President Michel Suleiman in May / 2014… alarabiya 31/10/2017), and so the Aoun’s visit to Saudi Arabia was to show his gratitude! As is clear from the above, Hariri follows the ruler in Saudi Arabia, so he will oppose or agree as dictated by the ruler of Saudi Arabia.
3- After Trump came to power in America, he visited Saudi Arabia on 20/05/2017 and made escalating statements about Iran and Hezbollah. He aimed to make these escalating statements before a summit of about 50 of the Muslim incompetent rulers to divert attention from the issue of Muslims in Palestine and make them focus on Iran, which was a prelude to what he was planning, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews. It was clear in those statements the intensified escalation. Of course, Saudi Arabia and others from his followers have adopted this approach. And because the central role of Iran in the region is dominated by the actions of Hezbollah in Lebanon and its interference in Syria, Saudi Arabia asked Hariri to be an anti-Hezbollah and Iran. So they summoned him to Saudi Arabia and asked him to resign there and to give his reasons in a harsh statement against Iran and Hezbollah. Thus, Hariri was brought to Saudi Arabia and gave his harsh statement, and announced his resignation in Saudi Arabia on 04/11/ 2017 CE.
4- America is aware that its statements against Iran and Hezbollah do not mean a conflict with Iran and its party, but it is an escalation to exploit the fear of the people of the Gulf; it was wanted from Saudi Arabia and Hariri to send messages, but not to walk in this road to the end. In other words, America does not want to end the existence of the party, but to send a calculated message without the escalation in Lebanon. This is why it asked Saudi to bring calm, that is to make Hariri reduce his tone. In An-Nashra site on 04/12/2017, it was stated: “… The Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman, did not move only after the full and direct coordination with the White House, and after the fourth visit of senior adviser to US President his son-in-law Jared Kushner to the Middle East since President Donald Trump taking office, this visit remained far from the media coverage. Kushner and the accompanying delegation to Saudi stayed for four days interspersed with rapid visits to Egypt and to Jordan and “Israel.” Almost two weeks after Kushner’s departure, the crises in Lebanon and arrests inside Saudi Arabia exploded. During the acute political crisis that struck Lebanon, signs emerged that there was an understanding between the White House and the Saudi Crown Prince on Lebanon namely to put pressure on Hezbollah to adjust its regional size after it became very large. Under this title, the Saudi Crown Prince launched his offensive towards the Lebanese government through its Prime minister, Saad Hariri, and thus destroyed the compromise agreement that took place with the arrival of General Michel Aoun to Baabda Palace. But the Saudi style was violent and lacked diplomatic wisdom, which threatened the internal stability of Lebanon. While the American institutes were continuously repeating that the pressure that will be targeted at Hezbollah is governed by a specific ceiling that can not be bypassed so as not to explode the situation. As things faltered, the American institutions moved on the basis that the Lebanese stability is vulnerable to collapse… (An-Nashra website: 04/12/2017)
5- Thus, Hariri began to soften the tone on the orders of Saudi Arabia. In order to to save face, Saudi Arabia received the French president and held talks and he met Hariri. Hariri then traveled to France and then to Egypt and created an atmosphere as if he is consulting them to take the appropriate position although the scenario was written in Saudi Arabia before his departure, which is to soften the tone and does not resign. This is what happened; he returned to Lebanon on 21/11/2017 and then announced that he will reconsider the resignation on 22/11/2017 and then he reduced his tone to a large degree towards Hezbollah, and said that Hezbollah does not use its weapons at home, as if he was fooling himself before deceiving others, and he forgot Hezbollah’s uses of their weapon inside Lebanon more than once until he announced pulling back of the resignation and the cabinet meeting under his chairmanship on 05/12/2017. He said in his statement (… that the situation has been settled after the approval of all members of the government to stay away from the affairs of other Arab countries) he said this, while Hezbollah militias are fighting in Syria day and night!
6- In summary, Hariri follows the rule in Saudi Arabia and the policy of the ruler in Saudi Arabia, and his loyalty is reflected on Hariri as orders. This is not hidden, and misleading people about it is pointless!
So will there be a move to reduce the influence of Iran and its party, this is possible, but it is expected to be after reaching a solution in Syria to the degree desired by America, then if Iran and Hezbollah roles are completed, there could be a withdrawal from Syria and a reduction of the military role of Iran and its party. For information, Hezbollah is subordinate to the regime in Iran as Hariri is to the regime in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is expected that if the Syrian issue ends with certain arrangements by the withdrawal of Iran, certain arrangements will be followed for its party in Lebanon.
Is there an expected aggression of Jewish state on Lebanon or Hezbollah? This depends on the arrangements of solutions in Syria, which depends on existing and new circumstances.
21 Rabii’ Al Awwal 1439 AH