Saudi Arabia offered Syria hundreds of billions of dollars for reconstruction if the war-torn country severed its ties with Iran, the leader of the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah claimed.
Hassan Nasrallah said the offer was made twice and was apparently turned down by Assad.
In a report published by the Lebanese news site Al-Akhbar on Tuesday, Nasrallah also charged that Saudi Arabia and the US were using “dirty” means to interfere in Lebanese general elections, scheduled for May 6.
Saudi Arabia has long seen Iran and its proxy Hezbollah as its key rival in the Middle East for regional hegemony and global influence.
Its involvement in Lebanese affairs was starkly illustrated in November when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was suddenly summoned to Riyadh and forced to resign on Saudi TV.
In his statement, Hariri cited Iran and Hezbollah’s influence in the region and fears of assassination.
After two weeks and much diplomatic activity, Hariri returned home and later canceled his resignation.
Earlier this month, during a visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to London, he and British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed on the importance of supporting the Lebanese government and disarming Hezbollah.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are on opposite sides in proxy wars such as that being fought in Yemen by Shiite Houthi rebels.