Arab League delivers harsh criticism of Iran, little action

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. A European diplomat close to the Iran nuclear deal says EU foreign ministers are expected to call for the acco
Arab League delivers harsh criticism of Iran, little action
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21 November, 2017

"This morning, a decision was taken that Lebanon would be presented by Antoine Azzam, the permanent representative to the Arab League", the source said.

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

They warned Iran not to interfere in the internal affairs of the region and stressed that Tehran should halt its support for Houthi rebels and Hezbollah in Lebanon. "We want to hold countries where Hezbollah is a partner in government responsible, specifically Lebanon".

The Arab League held an extraordinary general meeting on Sunday in Cairo at the request of Saudi Arabia, which called the ministerial-level session to discuss "violations" by its rival Iran.

"Iran created agents in the region, such as the Houthi and Hezbollah militias, in total disregard for all worldwide principles", said al-Jubeir.

The Saudis said the missile was Iranian-made and declared the attack an act of war by the Iranians.

After French intervention, Hariri flew to France and met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Saturday.

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Mr Aoun said he would not accept Mr Hariri's resignation until it is delivered in person amid calls for his speedy return.

"Firing the ballistic missiles toward Riyadh and the bombing of oil pipeline in Bahrain are all risky developments emanating from the Iranian agenda", Al-Mekhlafi continued.

Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil -a member of the Hizbollah-allied Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese president's son-in-law - did not attend the Cairo meeting. Both have denied any involvement in the incident. It is, however, the first time the Arab League has taken such a strong public stand against Hezbollah.

"That doesn't mean they agree to the escalation of Iranian interference in various Arab countries, but paradoxically it was the incompetence and the division among those Arab countries that was the main factor why Iran is able to expand its influence in the region", added Bishara.

According to Marwan Bishara, a senior political analyst has said that Saudi Arabia had convened the Cairo meeting in a bid to "consolidate its position in a divided Arab region".

Riyadh is also involved in an increasingly intractable proxy war in Yemen, where millions have been affected by a Saudi-led blockade, and its affiliated factions have failed to topple President Bashar Assad in Syria.


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