Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, said on Sunday the previous day's resignation of the country's premier Saad Hariri had been "imposed" by Saudi Arabia.
Hours after announcing in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh on Saturday he would step down, the Saudi television station Al-Arabiya reported an assassination attempt on Hariri was thwarted just days before he resigned. In 2016 he was appointed prime minister for the second tenure by president Michel Aoun, an ally of Hezbollah.
Hariri had said there was a plot to kill him, and accused Hezbollah and its Iranian backers of sowing strife in the Arab world.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are regional arch foes.
Al-Hariri placed the blame squarely on Iran and Hezbollah.
"Hariri hoped that he could convince Iran on the part of Saudi Arabian officials to stop its opposition to the inhumane policies of Riyadh towards Yemen including conducting airstrikes against the innocent women and children and imposing siege on the impoverished nation which is suffering from lack of food and medicines".
He said "legitimate questions" were being asked in Lebanon over whether Hariri had been detained in Saudi Arabia, adding that Lebanon's political leaders expected him to return to the country on Thursday "if he is allowed" to travel.
Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh sought to calm fears the political turmoil would hit Lebanon's already fragile economy, issuing a statement to reaffirm the stability of its currency, which is pegged against the USA dollar.
Along with Iran and Syria, the Lebanese terror group was responsible for the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, which the younger Hariri cited in his resignation speech. I and my government have tried to keep to a policy of non-intervention in the crises in our region, but Iran keeps trying to intervene in Lebanon's internal affairs.
In this February 14, 2005, file photo, vehicles burn following a massive bomb attack that tore through the motorcade of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut, Lebanon.