Saudi Arabia seeks to ratchet up pressure against Iran
- Author: Ryan Wade Nov 20, 2017,
Nov 20, 2017, 1:53
"We are ready to exchange experiences with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab countries and exchange intelligence information to confront Iran", Eisenkot said in his first-ever interview with an Arabic newspaper, adding "there are many shared interests between us and Saudi Arabia".
While not mentioning Iran by name, he said Lebanon condemned all attacks against Arab nations, but blamed exploitable inter-Arab divisions that allowed worldwide and regional powers to promote their interests.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain launched a comprehensive economic boycott against their Gulf Arab neighbor Qatar in June because of its close ties to Iran. "We are obliged today to take a serious and honest stand.to counter these belligerent policies so that we can protect our security, " said Al-Jubeir.
They condemned what they described as Iran's constant meddling in Arab affairs.
In its request for the meeting, Saudi Arabia referred to those two incidents and "to the violations committed by Iran in the Arab region, which undermines security and peace, not only in the Arab region, but around the globe", according to a memo seen by AFP.
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Saudi Arabia has accused Tehran of involvement in the firing of a ballistic missile at Riyadh this month by Yemen's Iran-allied rebels.
Earlier Sunday, Abul Gheit said the missile fired at Riyadh was made in Iran.
Saudi Arabia "will not hesitate to defend its national security to keep its people safe", Jubeir said in opening remarks to the Cairo meeting.
The House of Saud has been losing ground in the multi-religious Mediterranean state, and the Bahraini foreign minister at the Arab League summit called Lebanon's Hezbollah militia "Iran's longest arm in the region". Alluding to the November 4 attack, he said it delivered a message to Arab nations that their capitals were within the range of Iranian missiles.
Bahrain has also blamed Iran for the pipeline fire.
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Also in September, Israel Radio reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had secretly met officials in Israel that month, drawing an official denial from Riyadh.
"There is an opportunity for a new worldwide alliance in the region", Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot told the paper, adding that Tel Aviv wanted to "exchange intelligence to confront Iran".
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.
However, the report was dismissed by some Israeli sources who claimed the newspaper was biased towards Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah.
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