Arab states stand united against ‘un­ac­cept­able Ira­nian ag­gres­sion’

The Miracle - - Middle East -

CAIRO: Arab states stood united on Sun­day against Ira­nian ag­gres­sion in the re­gion, and Saudi Ara­bia warned that it would not stand idly by in the face of threats to its na­tional se­cu­rity. “We are obliged to­day to take a se­ri­ous and hon­est stand to counter th­ese bel­liger­ent poli­cies so that we can pro­tect our se­cu­rity,” Saudi For­eign Min­is­ter Adel Al-Jubeir told an emer­gency meet­ing of Arab League for­eign min­is­ters in Cairo. The min­is­ters ex­pressed their full sol­i­dar­ity with Saudi Ara­bia and sup­port for any mea­sures it may take to counter Ira­nian threats, warned Iran to stop in­ter­fer­ing in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of their coun­tries and end its sup­port for Hezbol­lah and Houthi mili­tias, and called for an emer­gency meet­ing of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to dis­cuss Ira­nian ag­gres­sion. Saudi Ara­bia asked for Tues­day’s meet­ing, with the sup­port of the UAE, Bahrain and .uwait, after the launch on Nov. 4 of an Ira­nian-sup­plied mis­sile aimed at Riyadh from Houthi mili­tia-held ter­ri­tory in Ye­men. Al-Jubeir said Iran con­tin­ued to threaten the se­cu­rity of Arab states, vi­o­lat­ing all in­terna- tional prin­ci­ples. Ira­nian mis­siles did not re­spect sa­cred Mus­lim sites in Makkah, he said, and the mis­sile that tar­geted Riyadh re­flected Ira­nian ag­gres­sion against the .in­g­dom and il­lus­trated the “grave dangers in the re­gion due to Ira­nian in­ter­fer­ence.” Arab League Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the mis­sile that tar­geted Riyadh was “an Ira­nian mes­sage of ag­gres­sion which is un­ac­cept­able in form and sub­stance.” He said: “The Ira­nian mis­sile pro­gram poses a dan­ger­ous threat to the re­gion and its se­cu­rity. Ira­nian threats have crossed a line, and they are push­ing the re­gion to the brink. Iran is adopt­ing a sec­tar­ian strat­egy to fuel re­gional con­flicts and is seek­ing to make Ye­men a thorn in the side of Saudi Ara­bia and the Arab world.” The sec­re­tary-gen­eral urged Tehran to “re­view its poli­cies to­ward the re­gion and stop its in­ter­fer­ence.” Bahraini For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh .halid bin Ahmed Al-.hal­ifa said Le­banon was under the “to­tal con­trol” of the Iran-backed Hezbol­lah move­ment. “Iran’s biggest arm in the re­gion at the mo­ment is the ter­ror­ist Hezbol­lah arm,” Sheikh .halid said, and there was dan­ger­ous Ira­nian es­ca­la­tion in the re­gion. Le­banese For­eign Min­is­ter Ge­bran Bas­sil did not at­tend Sun­day’s meet­ing. He was re­placed by Le­banon’s del­e­gate to the Arab League, An­toine Az­zam. Le­banese sources said there was in­tense pres­sure on the League to avoid ex­plicit ref­er­ences to Hezbol­lah in state­ments after the meet­ing, but the ef­forts failed. Bas­sil is the son-in-law of Le­banese Pres­i­dent Michele Aoun, who is an ally of Hezbol­lah. Iraqi For­eign Min­is­ter Ibrahim Al-Jaa­fari, who is known for his sup­port of Ira­ni­an­backed mili­tias such as Hezbol­lah, was also ab­sent from the meet­ing; the Un­der­sec­re­tary at Iraq’s Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Nizar .hair Al­lah, at­tended in­stead. Diplo­matic sources said the Gen­eral Sec­re­tar­iat of the Arab League has pre­pared a dossier of vi­o­la­tions, in­ter­fer­ence and provoca­tive state­ments by Iran and its of­fi­cials, along with mem­o­ran­dums from mem­ber states, mainly Saudi Ara­bia, de­tail­ing Ira­nian in­ter­fer­ence tar­get­ing re­gional sta­bil­ity. Arab af­fairs ex­pert Dr. Moutaz Salama, of Al-Ahram Cen­ter for Po­lit­i­cal and Strate­gic Stud­ies, said Sun­day’s meet­ing was part of a long-term Saudi strat­egy which will de­velop grad­u­ally to con­tain Iran’s de­struc­tive role in the re­gion. Ral­ly­ing Arab diplo­matic ef­forts against Ira­nian in­ter­fer­ence was an es­sen­tial step to move the is­sue on to the in­ter­na­tional stage, he said. Arab diplo­matic sources said that there was an agree­ment be­tween Saudi Ara­bia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain to con­front Ira­nian re­gional ag­gres­sion de­ci­sively.

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