Iran has rejected “unfounded accusations” by Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister citing Tehran’s “grip” on his country and threats to his life.
It says the surprise resignation of Lebanese prime minister is part of a plot to stoke tensions in the region.
An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei accused the United States and Saudi Arabia of being behind the move.
Saad al-Hariri announced his resignation in a TV broadcast from Saudi Arabia, accusing Iran of sowing “fear and destruction” in several countries, including Lebanon.
He said he was stepping down because he feared for his life.
Saad al-Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, was assassinated in 2005.
Correspondents say Saad al-Hariri’s sudden departure plunges Lebanon into a new political crisis and raises fears that it may be at the forefront of the regional rivalry between Shia power Iran and Sunni stronghold Saudi Arabia.
Following the statement on November 4, Iranian politicians lined up to denounce Saad al-Hariri’s assertions.
Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kahmenei, said: “Hariri’s resignation was done with planning by [President] Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi, quoted by the official Irna news agency, said Saad al-Hariri’s departure was aimed at creating tension in Lebanon and the region.
Bahram Qasemi said Saad al-Hariri had repeated “unrealistic and unfounded accusations” and had aligned himself with “those who want ill for the region”, singling out Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US.
Saad al-Hariri, whose family is close to Saudi Arabia, has been prime minister since December 2016, after previously holding the position between 2009 and 2011.
His father, Rafik al-Hariri was killed by a bomb in 2005 in an attack widely blamed on the Iran-backed Shia movement Hezbollah, which wields considerable power in Lebanon.