Saudi Foreign Minister Accuses Iran of Stoking Sectarian Tensions in Region

Saudi Foreign Minister Accuses Iran of Stoking Sectarian Tensions in Region

Sunday, 15 April, 2018 - 18:15
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. (SPA)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir condemned on Sunday Iran for its meddling in the Arab region.

He said at the conclusion of the 29th Arab League summit in Dhahran: “Iran is seeking to create sectarian strife in the region.”

He accused it of supplying terrorist militias with ballistic missiles and it “must be held accountable.”

Saudi Arabia shares Arab fears over Iran’s meddling in their region and backing of terrorist militias, he told reporters during a press conference with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit at the end of the summit.

Moreover, he said that Tehran is aspiring to take control of the Islamic world, which is “unacceptable.”

Commenting on the Iran nuclear deal, the minister stated that the Kingdom insists that the agreement be modified in a way that would curb Tehran’s ability to enrich uranium.

“We insist that Iran be forced to stop its ballistic missiles program, which threatens Arab countries,” stated Jubeir.

“We harbor no ill will towards the Iranian people, but the government that has been in place since the Khomeini revolution has different ideas,” he lamented.

Asked why the dispute with Qatar was not addressed at the Arab summit, he replied: “This is a very small issue.”

Doha knows that the solution to the dispute “lies in its own hands. It should stop living in denial,” stressed the Saudi minister.

It is aware that complying with the Gulf and Egyptian demands to stop backing terrorists and cease meddling in the affairs of other countries will bolster reconciliation and restore ties with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, he continued.

He reiterated however that Qatar was still supporting extremists and its actions are “rejected.”

In addition, he denied that the Arab summit was moved from Riyadh to the Eastern province due to security fears stemming from the Iran-backed Houthis’ firing of ballistic missiles towards the Kingdom.

Jubeir explained that the summit in Dhahran coincided with major military exercises, which will be presided over by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and which will kick off on Monday.

The drills, which will see the participation of 25 countries, will be held in al-Jubail.

For his part, Abul Gheit revealed that Arab leaders agreed to hold a cultural summit.

Beirut will also host an Arab economic summit in 2019, he told reporters.

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