Clashes among various protest factions as well as with police have escalated in Beirut over the past days, amid nearly two weeks of mass anti-government demonstrations which have seen up to one million hit the streets, or up to 25% of the population, angry over widespread government corruption and as extreme lack of confidence in Lebanon's currency and the central bank rises. The sheer size and intensity of the protests which has led to over 12 days of shuttered banks, schools, and public institutions amid gridlock and literal roadblocks, led to Saad al-Hariri on Tuesday resigning his post as prime minister, saying he had hit a "dead end" in trying to resolve the crisis.
Western media reports have begun blaming Hezbollah for attacking anti-government protest camps in the Lebanese capital, after the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah has grown critical of the mass movement, saying it's being fueled by "foreign powers". Others have blamed the violence, which involved stick-wielding men beating up protesters, on the rival Amal faction.
Regardless, Iran on Wednesday joined in the blame-game, with no less than Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, weighing in with a series of statements slamming the 'hidden hand' of the United States and Israel for seeking the destabilize Lebanon and Iraq through protests which have gripped both countries.
Khamenei went on a tirade in a series of tweets:"The biggest damage enemies can inflict on a country is to deprive them of security, as they are doing today in some countries in the region," he wrote. "I recommend those who care in Iraq and Lebanon remedy the insecurity and turmoil created in their countries by the US, the Zionist regime, some western countries, and the money of some reactionary countries."