Former Lebanese Prime Minister and leader of the largest parliamentary group MP Saad Hariri blasted Thursday Hassan Nasrallah, accusing the Hezbollah chief of sacrificing Lebanon for the sake of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran.
Hariri’s comments came shortly after Nasrallah delivered a speech in which he vowed to keep his fighters in Syria as long as needed to defend the Syrian regime.
“Hezbollah chose to sacrifice Lebanon’s sovereignty and its national unity for the sake of Bashar Assad’s regime and to appease the Iranian leadership’s decision to protect this regime,” Hariri said in a statement from his office.
Hariri stood firm on his party’s condition not to participate in any future government until Hezbollah ended completely its military involvement Syria.
Hariri on Thursday, reiterated his refusal to provide Hezbollah political cover for its presence in Syria by joining the next government and said it was shameful that the Ashoura commemoration had turned into an occasion “to gloat about support for the unjust regime against the oppressed people.”
“Just as Nasrallah affirmed and repeated his commitment to the war in Syria … we also affirm that we will not offer Hezbollah any forms of national legitimacy for its reckless policies that have dragged Lebanon into the heart of this regional storm,” Hariri stressed.
“Hezbollah can flex its muscles on Lebanon … as well as the Syrian people and their revolution with the power of Iran, its money and arsenal … but it cannot from this day on impose on the Lebanese conditions to participate in political life,” he added.
Hariri and his allies in the March 14 coalition have also rejected a Cabinet lineup that would grant each rival coalition veto power in the next government.
On Wednesday Hariri dismissed as “pipe dreams” accusations by Nasrallah that Saudi Arabia was blocking the formation of the government while awaiting the outcome of Syria’s war and talks between Iran and world powers.
“Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has made a series of stances; the least to be said about them is that they are pipe dreams that have nothing to do with facts and truth, but are only illusionary and made-up ideas aimed at concealing the main reason obstructing the formation of the government,” Hariri said in a statement.
“It seems that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is either held captive by a circle of illusions and unfounded information or he likes to throw political dust to blind Lebanese public opinion on the core reason [for our opposition to join Hezbollah in a government] which we have repeated dozens of times,” he added.
“We will not be Hezbollah’s partners in a government that covers its participation in fighting against the Syrian people or one that covers its violation of the national consensus reflected in the Baabda Declaration,” the former PM said.
In a speech on Wednesday, Nasrallah said that a 9-9-6 Cabinet lineup was the only plausible formula. He said Saudi Arabia had asked its March 14 allies to block the formation of a government in which Hezbollah was represented.
“An acceptable formula … the possible and realistic one that preserves the rights of all sides … is the 9-9-6 formula,” Nasrallah said in a rare public appearance at a gathering in the Beirut southern suburbs to mark Ashoura.
“There is a regional decision made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is urging the March 14 coalition not to form a government now,” he said. “They had asked it to form a government excluding the March 8 coalition and Hezbollah, but it [the March 14 coalition] can’t do so. So now they told it not to form a government and to wait.” Nasrallah said.
Nasrallah said Saudi Arabia wants the March 14 coalition to wait for the outcome of the Syria crisis, hoping for the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and added:
“If there is someone in a certain place in Lebanon, the region or the world waiting to win in Syria in order to allow the formation of a Cabinet in Lebanon, I tell him: You will not win in Syria.”