The tension is rising between Iran and saudi Arabia

Pauline Gross
November 20, 2017

During the emergency Arab foreign ministers meeting, Bahrain's foreign minister said that Lebanon is under the "total control" of the Iran-backed Hizballah movement. "With us, usually, there is no problem, but we respect the other side's wish, when ties are developing, whether it's with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries", he said, adding that there are a number of contacts that are kept secret.

But Gheit said the Arab League was "not declaring war on Iran at this stage".

In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, saying Tehran was destabilizing the region.

He called on countries such as Lebanon "where Hizballah is a partner in government to carry their responsibility".

Iran has vehemently dismissed the charges and accused Saudi Arabia for violations of peace and stability in the region.

Bahrain Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa appears during a meeting at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on November 19, 2017.

"Any leniency in dealing with [Tehran's] policies would only encourage Iran towards more aggressions, so we must stand together", Jubeir said. He added that "Iran deliberately violated all the global principles and recruited agents in the regions such as the Houthis and Hizbollah".

The diplomats said a Saudi draft resolution is proposing a declaration of solidarity with the kingdom and stating Arab support for actions it might take to safeguard its national security in the face of meddling by Tehran.

Hariri reads his resignation statement
Hariri reads his resignation statement

It showed that "80 ballistic missiles were fired at villages near the Saudi-Yemeni borders and 66 thousand projectiles", such as mortars and rockets.

The Lebanese envoy to the Arab League, Antoine Azzam, made carefully weighed comments at the meeting that reflected his country's delicate religious and ethnic balance.

His country had called the meeting of foreign ministers at the League's headquarters to discuss "violations" committed by Iran after a missile was intercepted near Riyadh in a November 4 attack claimed by Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Along with that attack, the resolution highlighted the bombing of an oil pipeline in Bahrain this month as an example of Iran's threat to regional security.

For more than a decade, Lebanon's political class has been largely split between the Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies, and a Saudi-supported coalition led by Hariri.

Riyadh has been backing military forces opposed to President Bashar Assad, while Iran has supported Assad's regime.

Hizbollah and an assortment of Iranian-linked Shiite militias from places like Iraq and Afghanistan have been fighting on the Syrian government's side.

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