Riyadh: Saudi and US officials on Monday urged the international community to extend a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, warning that letting the ban expire would allow Tehran to further arm its proxies and destabilise the region.
Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel Al Jubeir, and US Iran envoy Brian Hook were speaking at a joint news conference in Riyadh.
The venue displayed weapons, including drones and missiles, that Saudi authorities accuse Tehran of sending to Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement and which they said were used in cross-border attacks on Saudi cities.
The Saudi official said that Saudi Arabia Sunday seized an arms shipment that Iran had tried to provide for its allies Al Houthi militia in Yemen.
"We are working with the US to prevent Iran from exporting arms and we urge the international community to extend the ban on arms sales to Iran," Al Jubeir said.
He added that since the eruption of the Yemen war more than five years, Al Houthis have launched 371 drones against the kingdom. The Yemeni rebels, he added, have also mounted 64 explosives-laden boats in an attempt to block free shipping in the vital Strait of Bab Al Mandab and the Red Sea.
"Since the begging of the war in Yemen, the Houthi militia has carried out 1,659 attacks on civilians in the Kingdom and launched 318 Iranian-made ballistic missiles against the cities and villages of the kingdom," Al Jubeir added.
"Iran's terrorist policies"
He urged the world to stand firmly against what called "Iran's terrorist policies", calling Iran the prime sponsor of terrorism in the world. He also accused Iran of dealing with drug rings.
Al Jubeir said "Iran is the first country to support terrorism worldwide" adding that "Since the beginning of the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran has assassinated more than 360 person worldwide."
"Iran deals with drug gangs and criminal gangs around the world, so Iran is a supporter of terrorism." Al Jubai confirmed.
"The kingdom is keen and committed to the security and safety of its citizens and residents and the protection of its facilities," the Saudi official.
Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military alliance fighting Al Houthis in Yemen upon a request from the internationally recognised government there.
Al Jubeir said that his country is working to implement an agreement signed in Riyadh last November to defuse tensions between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council.
The pact, official dubbed the 'Riyadh Agreement" envisages power sharing between both sides and aims at refocusing efforts on the campaign against Al Houthis.