Arab League stance on Iran 'worthless', says Tehran
TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse
"The solution to the region's problems, many of which are down to Saudi Arabia's sterile policy, is not to publish such worthless statements but to stop following the policies of the Zionist regime (Israel) which seeks to stoke divisions," the ISNA news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi as saying.
On Nov. 19, the Arab League held an extraordinary general meeting in Cairo, at the request of Saudi Arabia, as tensions soar between the regional arch-rivals.
Saudi Arabia and other Arab foreign ministers criticized Iran and its Lebanese Shi‘ite ally Hezbollah the meeting, calling for a united front to counter Iranian interference.
Regional tensions have risen in recent weeks between Sunni monarchy Saudi Arabia and Shi‘ite Islamist Iran over Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s surprise resignation, and an escalation in Yemen’s conflict.
Hariri, a Saudi ally, resigned on Nov. 4 from Riyadh, accusing Iran and Hezbollah of spreading strife. But Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other politicians accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri hostage and said he had been coerced into resigning. Saudi Arabia and Hariri both deny that.
Hezbollah, both a military force involved in Syria’s war and a political movement, is part of a Lebanese government made up of rival factions, and an ally of Aoun.
Saudi Arabia also accuses Hezbollah of a role in the launch of a missile towards Riyadh from Yemen this month. Iran denies accusations that it supplies Houthi forces there.
“The kingdom will not stand by and will not hesitate to defend its security,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir told the assembly. “We must stand together.”
In a declaration after the meeting, the Arab League accused Hezbollah of “supporting terrorism and extremist groups in Arab countries with advanced weapons and ballistic missiles.” It said Arab nations would provide details to the U.N. Security Council of Tehran’s violations for arming militias in Yemen.
Lebanon’s Arab League representative objected to the declaration accusing Hezbollah of terrorism and said it is part of Lebanon’s government, the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar television channel reported.
United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter later that the declaration was a “clear message” about joint Arab action against Iran.