Iran Urges Gulf Arabs to Accept Post-Nuclear Deal Thaw

Iran urged its Gulf Arab neighbors Thursday to reconcile themselves to the international rapprochement that led to its July nuclear agreement with world powers and to halt their opposition and "hostile propaganda."

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Marizeh Afkham said that a joint statement issued by Gulf Arab foreign ministers on Tuesday accusing Iran of interference in their countries' internal affairs was baseless rhetoric.

"It is surprising that in the post-nuclear talks atmosphere, two or three of our southern neighbors… try to continue the failed policy of considering the Islamic Republic of Iran a threat," she said.

"Some Gulf Cooperation Council members who hindered the talks process are now angry over the success of diplomacy… and think they can undermine international support for dialogue by repeating the same threadbare allegations."

Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-ruled neighbors accuse Shia Islamist-ruled Iran of seeking to control the entire Middle East, noting its meddling and even outright intervention in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

Specifically, they note Tehran's massive support for the Assad regime in Syria, supplying both direct military and other support, as well as fighters from its own Revolutionary guards and Hezbollah. Iran has also been the main backer of Shia Islamist militias in southern Iraq, and is believed to be behind the Houthi rebel offensive which captured swathes of territory in Yemen – including the capital Sanaa – before being gradually pushed back by Sunni forces.

Iran also stands accused of attempting to foment unrest among Shia minority communities in the Gulf, by arming and funding armed insurrections. Kuwait recently announced it had broken up a major Hezbollah terrorist cell funded and armed by Iran.

Tehran counters that it is Riyadh and its allies who are destabilizing the region though their support for rebels in Syria and their military interventions in Bahrain and Yemen.

Five of the six GCC states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – have troops fighting against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen they accuse of being proxies of Iran. Only Oman does not.

AFP contributed to this report.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *