Arab League delivers harsh criticism of Iran, little action


Addressing an extraordinary Arab League meeting at ministers levels in Cairo, the minister said Jordan is ready to host or launch an extensive pan-Arab dialogue that would clearly identify all threats to common Arab security and agree on effective institutional mechanisms to address them.

Hariri criticised Iran and its ally Hezbollah, which is in Lebanon's coalition government, in his resignation statement, and said he feared assassination.

In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, saying Tehran was destabilizing the region.

"Lebanon is not responsible for the Arab and regional conflicts that Arab countries are witnessing", Mr Aoun told Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit during their meeting in Beirut on Monday. "But it is not in total control".

Regional tensions have escalated in recent weeks between Riyadh and Tehran over Mr Hariri's resignation and after a ballistic missile was sacked at the kingdom by Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are also backed by Iran.

While the Cairo meeting produced a display of unity, Saudi Arabia was largely preaching to the choir.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are backing opposite sides in wars in Yemen and Syria.

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Saudi Arabia subsequently expressed its anger at Hezbollah, which maintains close ties with Iran.

In a televised address on Monday evening, Nasrallah said the Lebanese movement had deployed "large numbers of our commanders and cadres" to Iraq to fight IS.

Hariri is now in Paris, where he arrived on Saturday after spending 13 says in Saudi Arabia. The League is notorious for passing resolutions and issuing communiques which are rarely acted upon.

AFP reports that Saudi Arabia requested for Arab League foreign ministers' meeting to discuss "the violations committed by Iran in the Arab region, which undermines security and peace ... around the globe". On Sunday evening Hezbollah's media unit posted on YouTube a video of Qassem Suleimani, the powerful head of Iran's Quds Force, meeting with what appeared to be Iraqi, Lebanese and Syrian fighters in the newly liberated Syrian town of Albu Kamal.

Iraqi forces on November 17 announced they had retaken Rawa, the last town to have been held by the Islamic State group in Iraq, capping three years of anti-jihadist military operations.

Netanyahu says he and Macron agreed to meet to "see if we can adopt similar approaches, as much as possible, concerning this threat and the nuclear agreement with Iran".