Riyadh, November 20: Verbal spat has been intensified between arch-rival Saudi Arabia and Iran over the issue of Lebanon. Notably, Saudi Arabia on Sunday slammed Iran and said that the Kingdom will not stand idly by in the face of Tehran’s aggression.
While speaking at an extraordinary general meeting of the Arab League at its Cairo headquarters, called by Riyadh, the Saudi foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned that the Kingdom would not stand idly by in the face of Iranian aggression, as Bahrain said the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement was "in total control" of Lebanon.
“Saudi Arabia will not hesitate to defend its national security to keep its people safe," Jubeir said in opening remarks at the meeting. "I trust the League's council will take on its responsibility and take a decision regarding Iranian violations of Arab security," he added.
Any way you look at it, Iranians are the ones who are acting in an aggressive manner. We are reacting to that aggression and saying, 'Enough is enough. We're not going to let you do this anymore'", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir noted.
Meanwhile, Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, said the Shia Hezbollah movement in Lebanon was "in total control" of the country. "Iran's biggest arm in the region at the moment is the terrorist Hezbollah arm," he said.
Al-Khalifa also said that Hezbollah does not just carry out operations inside the borders of Lebanon, it also crosses its borders to all of our nations, making it "threat to Arab national security. He, on the occasion, called on countries "where Hezbollah is a partner in government to carry their responsibility". "The Lebanese Republic, in spite of our relations with it as a brotherly Arab nation is under the total control of this terrorist party," Sheikh Khalid concluded.
On the other side, an Iranian foreign ministry official immediately dismissed the meeting as worthless quoting many of the region's problems were down to Saudi Arabia's "sterile policy". Interestingly, the Arab League meeting at Cairo held at the time when tensions are surging between regional arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, including over League member Lebanon. Saudi Arabia and Iran have for decades stood on opposing sides of conflicts in West Asia including in Syria and Yemen.