TEHRAN (Press Shia) – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Saturday that a new conflict in Lebanon would have "devastating consequences" and said he was engaged in intense contacts with all players to urge de-escalation.

"It is essential that no new conflict erupt in the region," Guterres told reporters.

"It would have devastating consequences,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted the UN chief.

"This is a matter of great concern to us. What we want is for peace to be preserved in Lebanon."

Guterres said he had been holding "very intense contacts" with Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and other countries in the region as well as governments with influence in the Middle East.

"We are indeed very worried and we hope that we won't see an escalation in the region that would have tragic consequences," said Guterres.

Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on Saturday, saying in a televised broadcast he sensed a plot to target his life.

His resignation statement was made and broadcast from the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Reports say the Saudi regime had ordered Hariri to resign in an effort to destabilize Lebanon.

Saad Hariri is the son of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005. Hariri has also been the leader of the Future Movement party since 2005.

He became prime minister in 2016 after serving another term between November 2009 and June 2011.