NNA - Prime Minister Saad Hariri, on Saturday, issued the following statement:
"Brothers and beloved Lebanese people,
I address you today with this speech at this crucial moment in the history of our country and the Arab nation, which is living under tragic circumstances caused by external interferences in its internal affairs.
You, the great Lebanese people, who carry ideals, values and a bright history, were a beacon of science, knowledge and democracy until groups that do not want anything good for you dominated you, supported from outside the borders. These groups sowed sedition among the people of one country, threatened the authority of the state, established a state within the state and ended up by controlling it and having the upper word and the final say in the affairs of Lebanon and the Lebanese people.
I refer explicitly and unequivocally to Iran, which sows sedition, devastation and destruction in any place it settles in, as proven by its interferences in the internal affairs of the Arab countries, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, driven by a deep hatred of the Arab nation and an overwhelming desire to destroy and control it.
Unfortunately, it found among the sons of these countries some people who put their hands in its hand, openly declaring their loyalty to it, and their will to kidnap Lebanon, with the values and ideals it represents, from its Arab and international surrounding. I mean Hezbollah, the Iranian arm, not only in Lebanon but also in the Arab countries.
Great Lebanese people,
Over the past decades, Hezbollah has unfortunately managed to impose a fait accompli in Lebanon by the force of its weapons, which it alleges is a resistance weapon. This weapon is directed to our Syrian and Yemeni brothers, in addition to the Lebanese. I do not need to list these interventions. Their magnitude appears daily and we suffer from it, not only on the Lebanese internal level but also on the level of our relations with our Arab brethrens, and the latest example of that is Hezbollah's cell in Kuwait.
Lebanon and the great Lebanese people became in the eye of the storm and subjected to international condemnations and economic sanctions because of Iran and its arm, Hezbollah. We all read what the head of the Iranian regime pointed to, that Iran controls the fate of the countries in the region and that Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, North Africa, and the Arab Gulf cannot take any decisive step without Iran and I responded to that at the time.
I want to tell Iran and its followers that they are losing in their interferences in the Arab nation affairs. Our nation will rise just as it did before and the hands that want to harm it will be cut, and just as Bahrain and Yemen responded, each and every part of our precious nation will do the same and evil will come back to its sender.
I promised you when I accepted to take the responsibility, to seek the unity of the Lebanese, end political division, restore sovereignty of the Lebanese people and apply the principle of self-distanciation. This caused me harm and I did not reply, for the sake of Lebanon and the Lebanese people. But unfortunately, this pushed Iran and its allies towards more interference in our internal affairs, violation of the State authority and imposition of fait accompli.
Dear Lebanese people,
The state of frustration that prevails in our country, the state of fragmentation and divisions, making special interests prevail over public interest, targeting Arab regional security via Lebanon, and forming enmities we have nothing to do with, cannot be accepted under any circumstance. I am sure that this is the will of the Lebanese from all sects.
We live in an atmosphere similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, and I sensed what is being woven in secret to target my life.
Based on the principles I inherited from martyr Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and the principles of the Great Cedar Revolution, and because I do not want to disappoint the Lebanese or accept what opposes these principles, I announce my resignation from the Lebanese premiership.
I am convinced that the will of the Lebanese is strong and they will be able to overcome the guardianship, from inside or outside.
I promise you rounds full of optimism and hope that Lebanon will be stronger, free and independent, with no authority over it except that of its great people, governed by law and protected by one army and one weapon.
I thank everyone who cooperated with me and trusted me.
Long live a free, independent and sovereign Lebanon, Long live the great Lebanese people."