Iran Rejects Arab League Statement, Urges End to Saudi Aggression on Yemen

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the final statement of a recent Arab League summit in Cairo, urging Saudi Arabia to stop its “savage aggression” against Yemen and push for negotiated solutions to regional conflicts, Tasnim news agency.

In comments on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi rejected the Arab League summit’s final statement as a Saudi Arabian document “full of lies and distortion” issued in the name of the Arab League foreign ministers.

 Instead of resorting to political pressures and issuing such “worthless statements”, Saudi Arabia should immediately end the savage aggression against Yemen, the spokesperson added.

He also urged the Riyadh regime to reverse the policy of pressure on its Arab neighbors, including Lebanon and Qatar, and stop the military campaign on Yemen to allow for negotiated peace in that country.

Highlighting Iran’s efforts for regional peace, Qassemi said such efforts have faced obstructive policies of Saudi Arabia that are based on fueling tensions.

The spokesman finally stressed the need for Saudi Arabia to stop following Israel’s policies and sponsoring terrorism.

It came after Saudi Arabia convened an Arab League summit in Egypt to discuss alleged violations committed by Iran.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its allies have launched a military campaign against Yemen to restore power to the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Since then, more than 14,000 people have been killed and millions have been forced from their homes as a result of the attacks, while the country is also facing severe famine and a deadly cholera outbreak.

Lebanon, Palestinian groups rap Arab League for labeling Hezbollah

Earlier, the Lebanese government and Palestinian forces have strongly condemned a decision by the Arab League to designate the Hezbollah resistance movement as a terrorist organization.

According to Press TV, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said in a statement that he had refused to list Hezbollah as a terror group as it was a “fundamental component of the Lebanese state.”

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Aboul Gheit announced at a media conference in Cairo on Sunday that Arab states agreed to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, adding that he would not “rule out going to the United Nations Security Council as a next step.”

Lebanon abstained from Sunday’s communiqué that labeled Hezbollah as a terror group. Iraq also expressed reservations about the designation.

The details of the resolution were not made public. However, media reports said the only concrete measure from the meeting was for Arab telecommunications satellites to ban Iranian-financed stations for allegedly posing a threat to Arab security.

Palestinian groups also denounced the Arab League’s decision, saying it serves the interests of Israel and the US and aims to satisfy the Saudi regime.

The alliance of the Palestinian resistance forces described the decision as “dangerous”, stressing that “Hezbollah represents the most important resistance force against Israel and terrorism.”

The decision was issued during an emergency Arab League summit, which Saudi Arabia called to discuss "confronting" Iran and Hezbollah.

Riyadh associates Hezbollah with Iran, and has been trying to weaken the resistance movement which is Lebanon's de facto deterrent force against any Israeli aggression.

Hezbollah, both a military force and a political movement, is part of a Lebanese government made up of rival factions.

The Saudi request for the Arab League meeting “was based on a missile it says its air defenses intercepted near Riyadh after being fired from Yemen on November 4,” according to a document seen by AFP last week.

Saudi Arabia has claimed that the missile had been manufactured in Iran but Tehran has vehemently rejected the allegation.