Geagea blames Iran for Lebanon presidential vacuum


Samir-Geagea 100Lebanese Forces chief  and presidential candidate Samir Geagea accused Iran of being behind Lebanon’s presidential vacuum

“Iran is responsible for the obstruction of the presidential elections in Lebanon,” Geagea told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper  in an interview published on Tuesday.

He accused Tehran of using Hezbollah, which “receives orders beyond” Lebanon’s “borders,” to thwart the polls.

Geagea’s  interview took place  his meeting  with Saudi King Salman on Sunday.

The LF chief also met on Monday with former Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader  Saad Hariri in Jeddah.

Asked by his interviewer about his latest talks with his rival Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun, Geagea said the meeting ended a 30-year rivalry.

“That would help us turn the page of the past and open a new page,” he said.

“We have made a single political step which is the importance of approving an electoral law,” Geagea told Asharq al-Awsat. “We are working for our agreement to include other clauses although we know that there is a lot of work ahead of us.”

The rivalry between Geagea and Aoun, who is also a presidential candidate, are partly to be blamed for the Baabda vacuum.

On the cabinet crisis, the LF leader said: “The government needs a minimum level of harmony so that (it achieves) consensus” among its members.

“But it is incapable of doing so because it is deformed,” said Geagea, whose party does not have representatives in the cabinet.

The Lebanese parliament failed last week   and for the 26th   time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25.

As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the sessions.

Speaker Nabih Berri who is allied with Hezbollah  told visitors last week   that   that an Iranian nuclear deal could help pave the way to ending major conflicts in the Middle East, and the presidential vacuum in Lebanon.

“I expect the first fruits to be a relief to the Yemen crisis as a regional priority concern by the countries signing the Iranian nuclear agreement,” Berri was quoted as saying to  visitors .

“The Iran nuclear deal would also help resolve regional crises because there is no end to the ongoing wars without political solutions,” Berri added.

Geagea  who was the first to announce his presidential candidacy has consistently been  blaming  Hezbollah  and Iran for the vacuum at the country’s top Christian post, saying the party  and its backer have  been insisting on backing a single candidate, in reference to Aoun, and not making compromises.

“Hezbollah’s top priority is the region’s crisis and not Lebanon,” he said last May .

Last march Geagea  also described the presidential vacuum as a “misery,” and blamed Iran , the backer of the Hezbollah-militant group for the deadlock .

“More than any other time Iran does not want a president for Lebanon unless he belonged to its camp,” Geagea told journalists who visited him in Maarab last  March 5th