Iran Accuses Saudi Arabia of Pushing for War

Arab foreign ministers gathered at the League's headquarters in Cairo Sunday for an emergency meeting called by Saudi Arabia.

"The decision of the Arab League on Iranian intervention today was historical and sends a clear message on the effectiveness of joint Arab action", Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said late on Sunday.

Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanese prime minister in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia on 4 November, will visit Egypt on Tuesday to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Hariri's office said on Sunday.

He reportedly alleged that "Iran's biggest arm in the region at the moment is the terrorist [Hizballah] arm".

Saudi Arabia has rallied its allies, including Bahrain, to isolate Iran diplomatically, but Tehran's role in fighting ISIS and its rapidly expanding sphere of influence has gained it allies, especially in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.

Saudi Arabia, he added, will not stand idly by in the face of Iran's "blatant aggression".

Regional tensions have escalated in recent weeks between Riyadh and Tehran over Mr Hariri's resignation and after a ballistic missile was sacked at the kingdom by Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are also backed by Iran.

The Saudi draft is unlikely to win the support of everyone in the Arab League.

"The Iranian threats have gone beyond all limits and are pushing the region toward a risky precipice", Abul Gheit added.

"The Lebanese Republic, in spite of our relations with it as a brotherly Arab under the total control of this terrorist party", said Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, referring to the powerful Shiite movement.

Earlier in the day, Iran's foreign Minister Javad Zarif told state media in Antalya, a Turkish resort city, on the sidelines of a meeting with his Russian and Trukish counterparts, "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".

In statements posted on Twitter, Aoun said Lebanon could not be held "responsible" for regional conflicts. Both have denied any involvement in the incident. Senior Lebanese politicians close to Hariri also said he was coerced into resigning.

Gheit emphasized that the liberation of the region from violence and sectarianism is based on changing Iran's approach to the Arab world.

"Immediate and effective solutions are needed against recent Iranian intervention in the region", he said.

  • Tracy Klein