Zarif: Saudi Destabilization Accusations against Iran "Irony"

In a swift move Saudi Arabia has led Arab foreign ministers in condemning Iran and Lebanese group Hezballah at an extraordinary Arab League meeting held in Cairo on Sunday.

Anticipating confrontation at the Cairo meeting, Lebanon's foreign minister may not attend, though a final decision will be taken on Sunday morning, a senior Lebanese official told Reuters on Saturday.

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. The trilateral foreign ministers meeting was discussing the issues related to Syrian situation. As ISIS's self-proclaimed caliphate collapsed, Iran has taken an opportunity to establish closer ties with Baghdad, Beirut and Damascus.

In a statement the party said it "rejects the description of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement as terrorist". Al-Khalifa claimed that Lebanon "is subject to full control by this terrorist group".

"The formation of a new Lebanese government or the continuation of any situation in Lebanon is not something I would interfere in or comment about, and Prime Minister Hariri will come to Lebanon on Tuesday".

The Saudi Foreign Minister said his country was targeted by a total of 80 ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Iranian-backed Shiite militia since the Kingdom in 2015 led a coalition to fight them alongside the internationally recognized government there. The resignation sparked a political crisis in Lebanon and put it on the front line of a regional power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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The draft appears to be in sync with Saudi Arabia's strong stance against Iran since the Houthis fired a missile on November 4. Hariri cited fear of assassination and accused Iran and Hezbollah of spreading strife in the Arab world.

Saudi Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan has warned the Lebanese they must choose "either peace, or to live within the political fold of Hezbollah".

Saudi Arabia, added Al-Jubeir, will not stand idly by in the face of Iran's "blatant aggression". Many Lebanese, including President Michel Aoun and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, have said they believe Hariri resigned under Saudi pressure. He is now cooling his heels in Paris, a journey connived by Saudi and French administrations.

It's not clear whether Sunday's Arab League meeting will translate into concrete action.

The Saudi draft also includes a warning to Iran against continuing its present policies in the region and orders Arab diplomats to request a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss what it called Iranian "threats", added the diplomats.

The Arab ministers Sunday called the firing of the missile an "aggression" against Saudi Arabia and a "threat to the Arab and worldwide security".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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