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Hariri: Lebanon Suffering from Hezbollah Involvement in Wars that Bring in Sanctions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Future Movement leader and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri at an Iftar in Sama Chtaura restaurant in the eastern Bekaa Valley. NNA

Beirut-Future Movement leader and Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said that Lebanon is suffering from the involvement of the so-called Hezbollah, and not of Lebanon’s Shi’ites, “in wars from which we only reap boycott and sanctions, and which make us lose support for our legitimate institutions.”

“All of Lebanon, with all its regions and communities, starting with the dear Shi’ite sect, is paying unbearable prices for options in which Lebanon, the Lebanese people and their state have no say,” said Hariri at an Iftar held on Friday in the Sama Chtaura restaurant in the eastern Bekaa Valley, in honor of families from Zahle, Central Bekaa and Baalbek.

“Now there is a real problem between Hezbollah, and not our Shi’ite brothers like the party is trying to say, and an essential part of the international community and the Arab community,” he said.

“The U.S. sanctions reflect an aspect of the problem that has multiple faces also in the relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” he stated.

Washington “is holding accountable or punishing Hezbollah, not our Shi’ite brothers, for security operations, and most European countries included it on terrorism lists due to security operations attributed to the party, not to our Shiite brothers,” said Hariri in his speech, adding “the same applies to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and other Arab countries.”

“Hezbollah does not want to admit this fact,” he said, describing its security and military policies as a “big curse.”

Thousands of young men thrown on the battlefields and hundreds of thousands of Lebanese whose interests are threatened are paying the price of such policies, said Hariri.

The Future leader also slammed Hezbollah for criticizing the banking sector and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.

“Last year, when Parliament passed anti-laundering laws, it practically committed to apply international financial regulations! And you know what? These laws were approved … unanimously! Who also voted for them? Hezbollah MPs! Not Riad Salameh!” said Hariri.

“If Hezbollah wants to open an account in an Iranian bank, the demand will be rejected, because of these same laws! Why haven’t we heard from Hezbollah an attack on the Iranian banks and on the Central Bank of Iran?

“The problem resides in the laws that control the global banking system, not in the Lebanese banks, and the problem resides in Hezbollah and the actions of Hezbollah, not of the Shi’ite community, and anyone who says otherwise would be lying!” he added.