Saudi Arabia leads Arab nations in condemning Iran, Hezbollah

Posted November 21, 2017

Yemen's foreign minister told the Arab League in Cairo that "the Iran regime has pushed too far through its proxy, the Houthis, in annihilating Yemenis", SABA reported. "Any leniency in dealing with their policies would only encourage them more, so we must stand together", the Saudi Foreign Minister added.

Lebanon, where Hezbollah is a key member of a coalition government, and Iraq, a majority Shiite nation bound by close political and religious ties to Iran, stated their reservations about the harsher parts of the resolution, including one that branded Hezbollah a "terrorist" organization. Arab foreign ministers gathered at Saudi Arabia's request for an extraordinary meeting to discuss alleged "violations" committed by Iran in the region, but the foreign ministers of Lebanon, Iraq and Syria were not in attendance.

Arab diplomats said the resolution seeks a declaration of solidarity with the premier Arab state, and support for actions it might take in the name of national security amid alleged meddling by Iran.

Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse Iran of backing the Shiite Huthis, an allegation Tehran denies.

Mr Hariri said this month in Riyadh that he was resigning as Lebanon's prime minister because of Iran's "grip" on his country and fears of assassination.

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"Firing the ballistic missiles toward Riyadh and the bombing of oil pipeline in Bahrain are all risky developments emanating from the Iranian agenda", Al-Mekhlafi continued. Saudi Arabia called it an Iranian aggression against its territory.

Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil -a member of the Hizbollah-allied Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese president's son-in-law - did not attend the Cairo meeting. The draft also blamed the Shiite group of supporting "terrorist groups" across the region and supplying them with weapons, including ballistic missiles.

Saudi Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan has warned the Lebanese they must choose "either peace, or to live within the political fold of Hezbollah".

"We say it in clear terms that Iranian threats have exceeded all boundaries and are pushing the region toward the abyss". Instead Antoine Azzam, country's representative to the Arab League participated in the foreign ministers' meeting.

Hizbollah, which was formed by Iran's Revolutionary Guards and still receives financial and militarily assistance from Tehran, fought Israel's occupation of Lebanon in the early 1980s. Many Lebanese, including President Michel Aoun and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, have said they believe Hariri resigned under Saudi pressure.