In meeting held Sunday to address Iran following Saudi cut of diplomatic ties, leaders suggest confronting Iran; Saudi Foreign Minister accuses Iran of supporting extremism and “promoting sectarian hatred”
Several foreign minister of the Arab League accused Iran on Sunday of “meddling” in Arab affairs. In a meeting called to address Iran following the arson attack on the Saudi Embassy in Iran, Saudi Arabia suggested a united Arab confrontation of the Islamic Republic.
Saudi Arabia officially cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the Saudi Embassy in Iran was set on fire in protest of the execution of the Shiite Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with 46 others in Saudi Arabia last week.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir stated that Arab nations could “confront” Iran, and claimed that the attack on its embassy were not because of the executions but that the attacks came “after inciting statements from Iranian officials against the kingdom.”
Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan claimed that “Iran doesn’t have qualms and doesn’t hesitate to using the sectarian card as a way to dominate the region, and interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries.”
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif claimed Saudi Arabia is supporting Islamic extremism and “promoting sectarian hatred” as well as active in attempting to “bring the entire region into confrontation.”
Zarif claimed that Saudi Arabia is “driven by fear that its contrived Iranophobia was crumbling” and “continue to impede normalization but are determined to drag the entire region into confrontation”. He claimed in the piece that “Saudi Arabia seems to fear that the removal of the smoke screen of the nuclear issue will expose the real global threat: its active sponsorship of violent extremism,” in reference to the execution of 47 prisoners, along with Sheikh al-Nimr.
He additionally claimed that the “Saudi government or its surrogates have over the past three years directly targeted Iranian diplomatic facilities in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan.” He also claimed “Iran, confident of its strength, has refused to retaliate or break, or even downgrade diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. We have until now responded with restraint; but unilateral prudence is not sustainable,” claiming Saudi Arabia can either “continue supporting extremists and promoting sectarian hatred; or they can opt to play a constructive role in promoting regional stability.”