Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Sunday the November 19 on Saudi Arabia's request for an extraordinary meeting to discuss alleged "violations" committed by Iran in the region. The Arab League meeting comes as tensions have been rising between long-standing rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran over League member Lebanon and other issues.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran have also soared since Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on Nov 4, citing Iran's "grip" on his country and threats to his life.

The emergency Arab foreign ministers' meeting had the support of the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait to discuss means of confronting Iranian intervention. 

After the resignation of Lebanon's prime minister pushed Beirut back into the center of a rivalry between Sunni kingdom Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran and heightened regional tensions, Saudi Arabia has called for an urgent meeting of Arab League to discuss Iran's intervention in the region, an official league source told Egypt's MENA state news agency on Sunday. 

After French intervention, Hariri flew to France and met President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. He will arrive in Cairo for a visit.  Speaking in Paris, Hariri said he would clarify his position when he returns to Beirut in the coming days. He said he would take part in Lebanese Independence Day celebrations, scheduled for Wednesday.

The Arab League has 22 members, but Syria's membership was suspended at the end of 2011 following months of brutal repression of anti-government demonstrations and an opposition movement supported by Gulf monarchies. Now they would like to remove Qatar as well.

The Arab League meeting comes as tensions have been rising between long-standing rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran over League member Lebanon and other issues. A committee is to prepare a draft resolution on Iran which will be discussed later by all ministers. The meeting addressed a Yemen rebel missile that was intercepted near Riyadh on November 4, and a pipeline fire in Bahrain on November 10.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have for decades stood on opposing sides of conflicts in the Middle East, including Syria and Yemen. A diplomatic source said Riyadh was seeking to adopt a condemnation of Iran and Arab militias linked to this country.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab foreign ministers criticized Iran and its Lebanese Shi'ite ally Hezbollah at an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday, calling for a united front to counter Iranian interference.

In its request for the meeting, Saudi Arabia referred to the incidents and "to the violations committed by Iran in the Arab region, which undermines security and peace, not only in the Arab region but around the globe.

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.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has accused Iran of "direct military aggression" against the kingdom by supplying the Yemen rebels with ballistic missiles, but Tehran has denied any involvement. A close ally of Saudi kingdom Bahrain has also blamed Iran for the pipeline fire.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) supported the Saudi request for an extraordinary meeting, which was also approved by Djibouti, the current chair of the pan-Arab bloc.

Lebanon's foreign minister did not attend Sunday's Arab League meeting, a ministry source has told AFP, but the country's permanent representative was present. For more than a decade, Lebanon's political class has been largely split between Hezbollah and its allies and a coalition led by Hariri. In Syria, Hezbollah has fought to defend the government of President Bashar al-Assad, also an ally of Iran.

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 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 UN 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. United Arab Emirates' Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said later that the declaration was a "clear message" about joint Arab action against Iran.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said "Iranian threats have gone beyond all limits and pushed the region into a dangerous abyss," but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iranian state media on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting in Antalya said:  "Unfortunately countries like the Saudi regime are pursuing divisions and creating differences, and because of this they don't see any results other than divisions"  

Yemen's civil war pits the internationally recognized government, backed by Saudi Arabia and its allies, against the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh."

Egypt's foreign minister received a call from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday when they also discussed regional tensions over Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Arab allies have pushed for unity against Iran, Hezbollah meddling.  

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