MP Marouni tells Assad: Leave Lebanon alone


MP Elie Marouni who represents the Phalange party responded in an interview to the recent statement of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad over the indictment by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon by telling him to leave Lebanon alone.

“ Assad should deal with Syrian affairs rather than interfere in Lebanese issues,” said Marouni in an interview on Wednesday with Free Lebanon radio

“Iranian influence on Syria made Assad change his mind to match Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s latest position,” Marouni said

Assad reportedly told Saudi officials that Riyadh “should oppose the STL’s upcoming indictment if it wants Lebanon to remain strong.”

Last week, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared as “null and void” the upcoming indictment by the STL

Marouni added that everyone should be patient and wait for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)’s indictment rather than spread rumors.

March 14 MP Atef Majdalani also said on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged statement in which he called for for rejecting the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) upcoming indictment , was a result of the visit by Iranian Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Bagheri to Damascus over the weekend.

“The STL is the only hope for achieving justice], ” Majdalani stressed

Tensions in Lebanon have been simmering for months as it has become increasingly apparent the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon STL) is leaning toward charging Hezbollah , the Shiite Muslim group with killing Mr. Hariri on Valentine’s Day 2005.

The massive, 1,000 kilogram, car bomb that killed Mr. Hariri as he traveled along Beirut’s fashionable seaside Corniche, left a crater 10 meters deep, knocked down several buildings and killed 21 other people, in addition to killing the billionaire tycoon who had rebuilt war-shattered Beirut.

Lebanese politicians fear any indictment of Hezbollah members for the killing could lead to a situation where the group might militarily seize large parts of Lebanon, just it they did in May 2008, when it briefly grabbed control of the western part of Beirut and tried, but failed, to occupy the Druze stronghold of Mt. Lebanon.

For months now, rumors have hinted UN investigators have uncovered evidence a Hezbollah hit-squad carried out the killing.

Hezbollah’s leaders have denied the charge.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also warned all Lebanese last November not to assist UN investigators, saying to do so would be tantamount to an attack on his movement.

Nasrallah vowed to “cut off the hand” of anyone who tried to arrest a Hezbollah fighter.

Tensions are high in Lebanon amid reports that the STL may soon indict Hezbollah members in its investigation of the Rafik Hariri murder, a move the party repeatedly warned against.

The cabinet has met once since its November 10 session and has not tackled institutional work in depth as March 8 and March 14 ministers have been deadlocked over how to resolve the issue of the witnesses who gave unreliable testimonies to the international probe into the murder of Rafik Hariri.



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