Saudi to garner vast support against Iran at Arab League summit
All but three Arab League member-states are expected to condemn Iran for Saudi embassy attacks. (File Photo)
Saudi Arabia is heading towards a new overwhelming support in the standoff with Iran as the Arab League member states hold their extraordinary meeting on Sunday.
An Arab League official said that the only item on the agenda would be the Iranian attacks on the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran and on the consulate in the northern city of Mashhad one item would be on the agenda of the meeting requested by Riyadh.
The official told Saudi daily Al Eqtisadiya that Arab League members would condemn the attack and would support Saudi Arabia except three countries. The official did not name the three states.
Under the Arab League rules, 11 states are needed to support a motion, but Saudi Arabia is expected to garner the support of 18 countries.
“Most Arab countries do not tolerate the Iranian behaviour towards the Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad which are seen as a blatant violation of international conventions,” the official was quoted as saying.
Several Arab countries have already condemned the Iranian attacks and Bahrain and summoned the Iranian ambassadors accredited in their capitals to voice their condemnation.
Bahrain, Djibouti and Somalia have severed diplomatic relations with Iran, emulating the Saudi example. Bahrain halted all air links to and from Iran.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last week condemned the attacks and expressed its full solidarity with Riyadh.
On Saturday, the GCC at an extraordinary meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh again condemned the Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia, saying that the “antagonistic statements and rhetoric by Iran were a direct incitement to attack the Saudi missions.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the GCC countries could go for additional measures based on Iran’s moves in the region.
“The escalation often emanates from Iran, and it will be tackled based on the negative attitudes,” he said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).
“Iran has been for decades taking a negative role by interfering in the domestic affairs of Arab countries,” he said.
Arrangements are also being taken with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to hold a meeting on the attacks on the Saudi diplomatic missions, he added.
The Arab League also condemned the attacks and its secretary general Nabil al-Arabi described them as a blatant violation of international conventions and agreements.
The Iranian interference in the affairs of the Arab countries should be assessed carefully and there is a need for the Arabs to stand together and united to reject them, Al Arabi said last week.
The Arab League chief said that he had told Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that if Iran wanted to improve its relations with the Arab states, it needed to translate this wish into reality on the ground.
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