Hundreds of supporters of toppled Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri have been burning tyres and blocking roads across Lebanon following the nomination of a Hezbollah-backed politician as prime minister.
They staged “their day of rage” against Sunni telecoms billionaire and former PM Najib Mikati, who has links with Saudi Arabia and Syria, but whose premiership may tilt the balance of power in Lebanon towards Iran.
It is a prospect the United States, which regards the Iranian-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, does not welcome.
“A Hezbollah-controlled government would clearly have an impact on our bilateral relationship with Lebanon. Our bottom lines remain as they always have been. First we believe that justice must be pursued and impunity for murder ended. We believe in Lebanon’s sovereignty and an end to outside interference,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Mikati was sworn in by President Suleiman and will now have to decide how to deal with the results of a UN investigation into the assassination of Hariri’s father, which is expected to implicate Hezbollah.