GCC hits out at Iran for meddling in Saudi affairs

GCC foreign ministers pose for a group photo during the 42nd extraordinary meeting of the GCC Ministerial Council in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)

GCC foreign ministers pose for a group photo during the 42nd extraordinary meeting of the GCC Ministerial Council in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia may take more deterrent measures against Iran to check its foreign policy behavior and to contain its growing interference in the affairs of Arab states, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Saturday.

“The Kingdom is looking at additional measures to be taken, if Iran continues with its belligerent policies,” said Al-Jubeir.

He made these remarks after chairing a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh.

The GCC foreign ministers, in a statement released after their meeting, lent their full support to any measure against Iran to halt Tehran’s “terrorist acts” and to ensure that it refrains from “meddling in the affairs of Arab nations.”

Riyadh also urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the Iranian attacks on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, said Al-Jubeir.

The foreign minister lambasted Iran, saying that “we cannot deal with a country that attacks and burns embassies, whether those embassies are British or American, or for that matter Saudi.”

He said Iran has to make a decision whether it stands and behaves like a civilized nation.

“If it is a nation state, it should act like a responsible state. If not, it will be further isolated,” said the minister.

Al-Jubeir said that the Kingdom would welcome the time and the opportunity to see Iran “act like a normal country” in the comity of nations.

“It is entirely in the hands of Iran, whether it wants to be a good neighbor or it prefers to remain in a hostile environment within the region,” said the foreign minister, while referring to the war of words stepped up by Tehran violating all diplomatic norms.

Addressing a joint press conference with GCC chief Abdullateef Al-Zayani after the GCC ministerial meeting, Al-Jubeir said that “the escalation is coming from Iran, not from the Kingdom or the GCC, and we are currently evaluating nefarious Iranian activities and taking strong steps to counter them.”

The GCC, as a bloc, also strongly condemns Iran’s meddling in the internal affairs of the Kingdom and the GCC.

The GCC called on the international community to take serious measures against Iran to prevent repetition of such attacks on diplomatic missions in the future.

The GCC welcomes the strong rejection of Iran’s actions against Saudi Arabia from neighboring Arab and Islamic countries, said Al-Zayani, while speaking alongside Al-Jubeir.

He said that the GCC stands with Riyadh’s decisions and the measures taken by the Kingdom against Iran.

The GCC said that it forcefully condemns the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.

The statement, following the extraordinary GCC ministerial meeting, criticized “blatant Iranian interference in Saudi affairs, which directly incited the aggressions targeting Saudi missions in two Iranian cities.”

The joint statement said the GCC totally supports decisions taken by Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism and it has total confidence in the independence and integrity of Saudi justice system.

The GCC countries also urged Iran to “respect the principle of good neighborliness in words and actions” and “stop activities that cause instability and insecurity in the region.”

Al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia and GCC countries are also working on a UN resolution that would condemn Iran’s aggressive acts.

Saudi Arabia previously cut its diplomatic ties with Iran in 1988 after protesters attacked the Saudi Embassy, injuring a diplomat, who later died of his wounds at the time. Relations were restored in 1991, but Iran continued with its policies of aggression and interference.

It is still fighting proxy wars in several Arab countries, while helping terrorists and terrorism besiege the whole Arab world including Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, which received overwhelming support from the GCC foreign ministers on Saturday, is all set to oust Iran from the Arab League forum on Sunday.

An Arab League official said that the Iranian attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions is the only item on the agenda of the Arab League meeting.

It is almost certain that Arab League members will condemn the attack and support Saudi Arabia except for one or two countries. This 42nd extraordinary meeting was chaired by Al-Jubeir here.

The meeting was attended by Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah; UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan; Kuwait’s First Deputy Premier & Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah bin Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah; Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah; and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.


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