Arab League accuses Iran of undermining regional security

Arab League condemns attacks on Saudi embassy and accuses Iran of undermining regional security

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A general view of the Arab foreign minister's meeting at the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, January 10, 2016

Arab foreign ministers condemned attacks on the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran, and warned that the country would face greater opposition if it continued its "interference" in the internal affairs of Arab states.

The statement came after the Arab League meeting that took place on Sunday at the request of Saudi Arabia to discuss the recent rising of tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, the two rival powers.

The foreign ministers denounced in a the statement the "hostile acts and provocations of Iran" in the dispute.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir said in a press talk following the meeting that if Iran continues to support "terrorism, sectarianism and violence," it would face opposition from all Arab countries.

He said the attack on the Saudi embassy was the latest incident in three decades of aggression by Iran, which needed help in fighting terrorism rather than supporting it.

Yet the statement didn’t specify any joint measures against Iran.

The tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia escalated after the execution of cleric Nimr Baqir al Nimr by Saudi Arabia on Jan. 2.

He was one of the 47 people - four of whom were Shiite - executed on Saturday over "terror crimes."

Last Sunday, Iranians started protesting Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al Nimr and attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran. In response, Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf Arab states cut or downgraded diplomatic relations with Iran.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attends the Arab foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, January 10, 2016

Jubeir said "With regards to mediation [between Iran and Saudi Arabia], there are some states that have expressed their readiness to conduct this, but the important thing is seriousness with regards to the Iranian position."

But he added that he does not expect the dispute between the two countries to affect efforts to end the war in Syria.

All members of the Arab League voted in favour of the statement, except Lebanon, where Iranian-backed Hezbollah is a powerful political force.

The statement also condemned the reported discovery of a militant group in Bahrain that said it was backed by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

A smaller committee of Arab League secretary general and representatives from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is expected to meet again on January 25.

TRTWorld and agencies