US President Barack Obama accused Hezbollah of carrying out political assassination and pledged Sunday that the United States will stand up to the Iranian-backed militant group
“Iran continues to support terrorism across the region, including providing weapons and funds to terrorist organizations,” Obama said in reference to Hezbollah
In February, Obama marked the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri by reaffirming his support for a UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon ( STL) .
Hariri and 22 others were killed in a car bombing February 14, 2005.
Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over STL’s imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of the father of caretaker PM
Lebanon has been run by a caretaker government since last January. Nagib Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah led-March 8 alliance, MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi . March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination.
Hezbollah reportedly threatened to kill Jumblatt and members of his parliamentary bloc if they did not vote for their candidate ( Mikati) during the presidential consultations aimed at appointing a PM designate to form a new government .
Jumblatt, Mikat, Safadi and all members of their blocs were elected by March 14 votes in the 2009 elections.