Arab League stance on Iran ´worthless´, says Tehran

Saul Bowman
November 21, 2017

Nasrallah heaped criticism on Arab foreign ministers who accused his group of terrorism at an emergency Arab League meeting convened at the behest of Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

During the meeting Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa was quite vocal against Hezbollah saying it was "in total control" of Lebanon.

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.

Hariri criticised Iran and its ally Hezbollah, which is in Lebanon's coalition government, in his resignation statement, and said he feared assassination.

Saudi Arabia urged fellow Arab League nations to find a "non-compromise" solution to deal with "Iran's aggression" and "disregard for worldwide law" during a specially-summoned foreign ministers' meeting in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The League ministers affirmed Riyadh´s right to defend its territory and said they would support all legitimate procedures it might take "against these Iranian violations".

Yemen's civil war pits the internationally recognized government, backed by Saudi Arabia and its allies, against the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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. Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been rocky since the 1979 Iranian revolution.


In a statement the party said it "rejects the description of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement as terrorist".

Hariri has since Saturday been in Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron, and has said he will return to Lebanon by Wednesday. The League is notorious for passing resolutions and issuing communiques which are rarely acted upon.

Lebanon was among the countries that voted in favour of the Arab League resolution, except for the points in which Hizbollah was mentioned.

The source added, "Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil will not be present".

While the Arab foreign ministers deliberated in Cairo, Iran's growing power across the region was on display in Syria.

Iraqi forces on November 17 announced they had retaken Rawa, the last town to have been held by the Islamic State group in Iraq, capping three years of anti-jihadist military operations.

Despite being Sunni, Hamas has always been seen as an ally of Iran.

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