UAE Minister Said Iran Seeks to Exploit Jerusalem Situation to Achieve Its Agenda

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Monday that Iran’s political discourse and policies are moving on three axes, defending its missile program, justifying their presence in Syria and covering up the violations of Houthi militias in Yemen, Al Arabiya reports.

“The current Iranian political discourse is moving on three axes: defending its missile program after it has been exposed as non-defensive, justification for an extended military presence in Syria, providing political cover for the Houthi militias in Yemen after they have destroyed the General People’s Congress party in Yemen,” he tweeted.

“Their talk of Iran’s regional victory is proof that such domination based on violence and militancy lacks legitimacy, and this is a matter of concern to Tehran in its expansionist Arab adventures.”

Gargash added that as Iran seeks to exploit the Jerusalem situation, their policy of violence and sabotage in the Arab world denies them any legitimacy.

U.S. president Donald J. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem potentially sets the stage for a controversial American effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The United States and the two Gulf states see a U.S. peace plan-in-the-making as a way of paving the way for more overt cooperation with Israel in confronting Iran, whom they accuse of destabilizing the Middle East.  In doing so, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are navigating a minefield.

Perceived Saudi and UAE backing for the proposal that is reportedly being drafted by Trump’s aide and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, would bring anger at alleged Arab complicity to the forefront, fuel the persistent anti-U.S. and anti-Israel protests, and complicate the campaign by the U.S. and the two Gulf states against Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, despite their official condemnation of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, have signaled a willingness to be more flexible by continuing to support Kushner’s effort and playing a low-key, if not dampening, role in the Arab and Muslim rejection of the president’s move.

Last Friday, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain welcomed the UN Secretary General’s report on Iran’s violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, as well as U.S. positions rejecting Iranian regional activities, and called on the international community to respond strongly to the threat posed by the Persian State.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the UN chief’s report on Resolution 2231 has confirmed, “what the UAE and its allies have long known: that Iran is continuing its expansionist and destabilizing behavior in the region, and is fuelling the conflict in Yemen.”

“The evidence presented by the United States leaves no doubt about Iran’s flagrant disregard for its UN obligations, and its role in the proliferation and trafficking of weapons in the region,” the statement went on to say.

The ministry pointed to Iran’s violations in the region, including “missiles, drones, explosive boats, illegal Iranian arms shipments to the Houthis and other proxies”, adding that such activities were promoting sectarian violence and endangering civilians.

“The UAE calls on the global community to more forcefully address the threat posed by Iran, and stand ready to work with its allies to take actions that will ensure compliance with relevant UN resolutions,” the statement concluded.

The Bahraini Foreign Ministry on Thursday lauded the report issued by the UN, which explained the negative interventions and hostile practices of Iran in Yemen. In a statement, the ministry said the Kingdom welcomed the report issued by the United Nations “which unequivocally clarified the negative interference and hostile practices of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Republic of Yemen, which aims at prolonging the crisis and obstructing the efforts to reach peace, as well as providing Houthi militias with dangerous rockets that pose great risks to the lives of the brotherly Yemeni people and threaten the security of sea lanes and peace in the entire region.”

It also commended the position of the United States, “which rejects Iran’s activities and supports terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and others in clear violation of international resolutions and norms, including Security Council resolutions 1559, 1701, 2231 and 2216.”