Arab FMs condemn Iran's intervention in Arab affairs



Arab foreign ministers condemned on Sunday Iran's intervention into Arab countries' affairs, saying they have asked the Arab group at the UN to address the President of the UN Security Council over Iran's violations.

In a statement after the an extraordinary meeting requested by Saudi Arabia, the Arab foreign ministers said they will ask the Arab Group at the UN to address the UN Security Council over Iran's violations of the Council's resolution 2231 on developing Tehran's ballistic missiles.

"This undermines Iran's allegations that its ballistic missile program is defensive as it threatens the Arabs' national security," the statement said.

The ministers also said they will ask the Arab Group to address the UNSC over Iran's violations of the Council's resolution 2216 by providing armed militias in Yemen with weapons, considering targeting Saudi Arabia with an Iranian-made ballistic missile launched from Yemen as an offensive from Iran.

"The Arab Group will ask the UN Security Council to assume its responsibility to maintain international peace and security," according to the statement.

The Arab foreign ministers condemned Iran's intervention into the internal affairs of Bahrain by supporting terrorists, providing them with weapons and training as well as stirring sectarian sedition.

They said that Iran establishes terrorist groups inside Bahrain that were financed and trained by Hezbollah of Lebanon and the Revolutionary Guard of Iran.

The ministers held Hezbollah responsible for aiding terror groups in many Arab countries and providing them with up-to-date weapons, including ballistic missiles.

For decades, Shiite Iran has been demonized in the Sunni-dominated Arab world who accuses the Persian state of attempting to destabilize Arab states through aiding terror and opposition groups in many Arab countries.

However, Iran has always dismissed these accusations, saying it has always sought good ties with its Arab neighbors.

During the ministerial meeting, Djiboutian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahmoud Ali Yusuf, who chaired the meeting, described Iran's interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries as a major challenge that should be immediately handled.

He said that Iran's unprecedented interference in Arab affairs could hinder efforts aimed at restoring Yemen's security and stability, he stressed, calling on top Arab diplomats to take a firm stance towards Iran's malpractices in the Arab region.

For his part, AL Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said targeting an Arab capital with ballistic missiles by illegal and regionally supported militants is a dangerous threat which should not be dealt with as a normal matter.

Aboul-Gheit underlined that the missile launched by Houthi militants on a Riyadh airport on November 4, repelled by the Saudi air defense, is another dangerous episode in a series of violations and intervention in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia.

He explained that the missiles were Iranian-made and considered to be a clear aggressive message from Iran that the Arab capitals were in the range of Tehran's ballistic missiles, stressing that the message was unacceptable, as the Arab countries were able to defend their security and stability, as well as they refused to live under threat.

In addition, the secretary general also pointed to Iran's interference and acts of sabotage, including the targeting of an oil pipeline in Bahrain on November 10, as well as proven facts of espionage networks in Kuwait, the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Iran must respect the sovereignty of Arab states and stop interfering in their domestic affairs.

Shoukry urged Tehran to maintain good relations with the neighboring Arab countries and stop fomenting sedition in the Arab region.

Egypt will not allow any country to undermine security of the Gulf and Arab countries or interfere in their domestic affairs, he stressed.

Addressing the meeting, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that AL response to hold this urgent meeting reflected the Arab countries' perception of grave dangers facing the security of the region due to the Iranian blatant intervention in the Arab internal affairs with the aim of destabilizing the region and provoking sectarian strife.

Al Jubeir added that the ballistic missile, which was fired by Houthi militants towards Riyadh, was part of a series of repeated Iranian attacks against Saudi Arabia, pointing out that about 80 Iranian ballistic missiles were fired by the Houthi group in Yemen.

He went on to say that Saudi Arabia would not pass this attack without a reaction or hesitate to defend its national security to maintain the safety of its people.