Lebanese politician Ahmad El Hariri, Sec.-Gen. of the Future Movement said that the Baabda Presidential Palace was hijacked by Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, which also occupies Lebanon. He made these remarks in an interview with Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that aired on February 15, 2021. El Hariri said that Aoun is acting like the president of the Free Patriotic Movement, not the President of Lebanon. He said that Hizbullah considers Lebanon to be a card up Iran’s sleeve, however, Hizbullah can choose to save Lebanon by forming a government and preserving the hope of keeping the card of Lebanon for the Iranians. He added that the unrest in Tripoli was designed to distract public opinion from the Beirut port bombing being caused by ammonium nitrate that Hizbullah had stored there on behalf of the Syrian regime, so it can use it to bomb its people.
Ahmad El Hariri: "The way Hizbullah views Lebanon is different from the way the Future Movement sees it."
Interviewer: "Does [Hizbullah] pin its hopes on the regional negotiations?"
El Hariri: "No. For Hizbullah, Lebanon is a card up Iran's sleeve. For us in the Future Movement, Lebanon belongs to the Lebanese.
"Hizbullah is facing two options. Either lose the country by letting it collapse completely, thus losing the Iranians their card, or it can save Lebanon in the last minute, and establish a government that would preserve the hope of keeping this card for the Iranians.
"[The Presidential] Palace in Baabda has been hijacked."
Interviewer: "Hijacked by whom?"
El Hariri: "The Free Patriotic Movement. President Aoun does not exist."
Interviewer: "What do you mean?"
El Hariri: "He does not exist. He does not behave like the president of a country. You can call him the president of the Free Patriotic Movement. He took over Gebran Bassil's place again."
Interviewer: "Who is the main obstacle for the establishment of a government?"
El Hariri: "President Michel Aoun. I am calling for the liberation of the Baabda Palace."
Interviewer: "Liberation from whom?"
El Hariri: "From the Free Patriotic Movement."
Interviewer: "They are occupying it?"
El Hariri: "Yes, it's an occupation."
Interviewer: "Do you support the [George] Haswani theory that the ammonium nitrate [that exploded in the Beirut port] was being used by the Syrian regime for its bombardments in Syria, and that Hizbullah was storing it for the Syrian regime there?"
El Hariri: "How come this Tripoli unrest started immediately after this report was aired? It started the following day."
Interviewer: "Was this Tripoli [unrest] set into motion because of that report?"
El Hariri: "Yes, so that we would forget that report. That's what some people say."
Interviewer: "These are dangerous [accusations]."
El Hariri: "Of course."
Interviewer: " Someone wants to silence this?"
El Hariri: "They want to silence and erase this. They want to make it go away."