Arab leaders on Thursday condemned Iran’s alleged attack on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and drone attack on a key Saudi oil pipeline earlier this month.
During an emergency summit of Arab leaders in Mecca, Saudi King Salman urged the international community to deal with Iran’s criminal acts “using all means to stop the Iranian regime from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, harboring global and regional terrorist entities and threatening international waterways.”
“Saudi Arabia is keen to protect the region from the scourge of war and its hand remains extended for peace,” he stressed.
The Saudi King warned that Iran’s development of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities expose regional and global security.
“Tehran’s actions threatened international maritime trade and global oil supplies in a glaring violation of U.N. treaties,” he stated.
A final statement issued by leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and one by the Arab League members attending the summit supported the right of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. to defend their interests in the face of the attacks.
"Iran should respect the sovereignty of Arab states and stop interfering in the affairs of countries, which is threatening security and stability in the region," the leaders said in a statement read by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Arab leaders were presented with a brief explanation and a display of Yemeni rebel military items, such as a destroyed drone, missiles and mortar shells used in the conflict with the Saudis.
Morocco did not partake in the summit, while Qatar sent its prime minister.
Iraq objected to the Arab League’s final statement and decided to not sign it. Speaking at the summit, Iraqi President Barham Salih said that Iran is a Muslim country and neighbor.
“We do not hope for its security to be targeted since we are sharing 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) of border and a number of relations. Honestly, the security and stability of a neighboring Islamic country is in the interest of Muslim and Arab states,” Salih said.
Iran lashed out at the comments made at the Mecca summit, deeming those accusations as “baseless”.
Iran accused Saudi Arabia of joining the United States and Israel in a “hopeless” effort to mobilize regional opinion against Tehran.
“Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi... rejected the baseless accusations by the heads of certain Arab countries ... and said ‘We see the Saudi effort to mobilize (regional) opinion as part of the hopeless process followed by America and the Zionist regime against Iran’,” state news agency IRNA reported.
Another summit which concentrates on Palestinian statehood and independence in Mecca is expected to be held on Friday comprising leaders from the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation.