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Arabs threaten to go to UN over Iran violations

Arab League chief and Saudi foreign minister issue strong words against Iran meddling

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir talks with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs A
Image Credit: AFP
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir (right) talks with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash (centre) during meeting at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo on November 19, 2017.

Cairo: Arab foreign ministers threatened on Sunday evening that they will go to the UN Security Council over Iranian violations unless Tehran changes its behaviour in the region.

"I do not rule that the next move will be to go to the Security Council to stop Iranian threats," Arab League chief Ahmad Abul Gheit said following an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.

He added that the Arab group at the UN has been assigned addressing the Security Council on Iran's violations in the region.

Arab League urges Iran to change course

Arab League head Ahmad Abul Gheit Sunday evening urged Iran to change what he said was "destabilising" policy in the region.

"I hope that the Iranian course of action will change and that Tehran will get the message that there is Arab anger," he said.

Saudi Arabia urges 'serious' stand

Saudi Arabia asked Arab nations to take a "serious and honest" stand against Iran, saying that showing leniency toward Tehran would only encourage it to press on with its "aggression" and "meddling" in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

Addressing a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir called for a firm stand to halt Iranian interventions in Arab countries’ domestic affairs.

“The Arab League needs to take a decision to be "non-compromising" in dealing with Iran,” Al Jubeir said. He underlined the importance of the rapid response by Arab countries to Saudi Arabia’s request to hold this extraordinary meeting.

“The meeting greatly reflects Arab countries’ sensation of the grave dangers posed to the region’s security and stability as an inevitable consequence of the flagrant violations and interventions of the Iranian regime in the internal affairs of Arab countries, in an attempt to destabilise security and stability and to sow sectarian sedition among our peoples and our nations,” Al Jubeir said.  

He cited a ballistic missile fired by Iranian-backed Al Houthis in Yemen earlier this month that was intercepted near the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as an example of how far Iran has gone with its aggressive policy in the region.

"Showing leniency toward Iran will not leave any Arab capital safe from those ballistic missiles," he said. "We are obliged today to take a serious and honest stand... to counter these belligerent policies so that we can protect our security," said Al Jubeir.

He said his country was targeted by a total of 80 ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Iranian-backed Shiite rebels since the kingdom in 2015 led a coalition to fight them alongside the internationally recognized government there.

Saudi Arabia, he added, will not stand idly by in the face of Iran's "blatant aggression."

Arabs consider Hezbollah a terror group

A final communique, issued following an emergency meeting of Arab officials, refers to Iran-allied Lebanese Hezbollah group as a terrorist organisation.

The Lebanese delegation at the meeting voiced reservations over this reference, head of the Arab League Ahmad Abul Gheit said at a press conference at the end of the meeting in Cairo.

 

With inputs from Ramadan Al Sherbini and WAM

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