Arab Countries to Address UN on Tehran’s Missile Programme, Say No Arab Capital Safe from Iran’s Missiles

Arab countries will address the Security Council president to clarify Iranian “violations” of a UN Security Council resolution on Tehran’s ballistic missiles programme, The National reports. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE condemned Iran’s “aggression” in the region at a general meeting of the Arab League in Cairo.

Anwar Gargash, UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted late on Sunday: “The decision of the Arab League on Iranian intervention today was historical and sends a clear message on the effectiveness of joint Arab action.”

Saudi Arabia urged fellow Arab League nations to find a “non-compromise” solution to deal with “Iran’s aggression” and “disregard for international law” during a specially-summoned foreign ministers’ meeting in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The Saudi official accused Tehran of “meddling” in various Middle Eastern states, particularly focusing on the Houthi faction in Yemen, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“We will not stand idly by in the face of Iran’s aggression. Iran created agents in the region, such as the Houthi and Hezbollah militias, in total disregard for all international principles,”,” Riyadh’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said in public remarks to the assembled officials.

The minister, a long-time ambassador to the U.S. appointed as foreign minister two years ago, said that 80 Iran-manufactured missiles had been launched from Yemen since the conflict broke out in the country in March 2015.

“Showing leniency toward Iran will not leave any Arab capital safe from those ballistic missiles,” he said, in reference to the failed missile attack on Riyadh from Yemen earlier this month, which the Saudis believe was ordered by Tehran.

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.

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.

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.

On the other side, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that Saudi Arabia destabilizes the region as it continues creation of crisis in some regional states.

“Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of destabilization, while itself fuels terrorists, wages war on Yemen, blockades Qatar and foments crisis in Lebanon,” Zarif said twitted on Sunday.