Hariri Appears in First TV Interview Since Resignation

International Committee of the Red Cross workers unload a cargo plane carrying humanitarian relief supplies for civilians at the airport in Sanaa Yemen

Hani MohammedNGOs Join UN Call to Lift Saudi Led Alliance's Blockade Threatening Yemen With Starvation

In a live interview shown on his Future TV, Hariri said he had resigned to protect Lebanon from imminent danger, although he didn't specify who was threatening the country.

On November 12, Hariri broke his silence on his resignation, saying he is "completely free" and not being held under some form of duress by his Saudi patrons.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has yet to formally accept Hariri's resignation and has criticized the circumstances surrounding it as "unacceptable".

"Lebanon's issues are related to the Lebanese themselves and we will not interfere in Lebanon's issues and based on our principled policies, we never interfere in other countries' internal affairs", Qassemi told reporters in his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday.

After a belligerent resignation speech on November 4, Hariri looked sad and exhausted on Sunday, at times holding back tears in the interview that went on for over an hour.

"I am not against Hezbollah as a party, I have a problem with Hezbollah destroying the country", Hariri said during the interview.

In an interview with a television station that he owns, the Saudi-allied Hariri, Lebanon's most influential Sunni Muslim politician, gave his first public comments since he read out his resignation on television from Riyadh eight days ago.

He added that a marathon planned in Beirut on Sunday in which tens of thousands are expected to participate should be "a national sports demonstration for solidarity with Prime Minister Hariri and his return to his country".

Hariri had not been heard from since but met with foreign diplomats, and appeared with Saudi royalty and in Abu Dhabi. A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthis rebels since 2015 in a bloody conflict that has resulted in a major humanitarian disaster. He vowed to return to Lebanon "within days".

Hariri was a regular participant in the marathon, giving the worldwide sports event a big boost.

One woman raised a placard reading: "We want our prime minister back". Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later accused Iran of "direct military aggression" against the kingdom by supplying the rebels with ballistic missiles.

"Whatever he chooses, we are with him".

The announcement comes after Yemeni transport minister Murad Al Halimi said on Friday that airports in the government-held cities of Aden and Seiyun, in Hadramawt province, would be reopening. "If I want to travel tomorrow, I will", he said.

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