New York: The UAE has expressed its deep concern over Iran’s “constant expansionist policies” and its negative role in creating instability in the region, particularly its continuous military and financial support for Al Houthi militants in Yemen.

Exercising its right of reply in response to a statement made by a member of the Iran delegation to the UN in September, the UAE submitted a joint letter to the President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly alongside ten countries including the GCC states, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan and Yemen, expressing its concerns over Iran’s repeated intervention in the internal affairs of Arab countries and its occupation of the UAE islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa.

The letter expressed widespread concern over Iran’s constitution, which calls on its political and religious leaders to export the Iranian revolution to other countries. It also points out Iran’s involvement in terrorist activity in the region through its backing of regional proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Al Houthis in Yemen and other groups or cells operating in Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The letter also highlights that the Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting in Yemen only did so after receiving an explicit request from that country’s legitimate government.

The Iran-backed Al Houthis grabbed power in 2014, placing Yemen’s President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi under house arrest in Sana’a.

Hadi later escaped and shifted the government’s headquarters temporarily to Aden.

The letter points out that Yemen’s appeal for help is legal under international law and Article 51 of the UN charter grants every country the right to self-defence.

The signatories condemend the Al Houthi attack on a UAE ship in the Bab Al Mandab strait earlier this year.

They also stressed that despite international condemnation of weapons suggling, Iran continues to arm the militant group.

The signatories said that Iran has only increased its aggression and support for terrorist groups since it signed a nuclear accord with Western countries.

The letter also said that Iran is working to stoke sectarian strife in the region.

The signatories called on Iran to stop meddling in their internal affairs.