The letter, circulated Monday to the U.N. General Assembly, cited Iran’s support for Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Shiite Hezbollah group in Lebanon which has sent fighters to support the Syrian government, as well as Iran’s support of “terrorist groups and cells” in Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and elsewhere. The Arab nations reiterated a statement by Bahrain’s foreign minister in September that the only way forward is for Iran “to comprehensively change its foreign policies and end hostilities.”
The letter was organized by the United Arab Emirates, and signed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Morocco, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Yemen. The 11 countries condemned Tehran for sponsoring “terrorism”, especially in Yemen, where they say Iran supports the Houthis both financially and militarily. Yemen, on the southern edge of the Arab Peninsula, has been fighting a civil war since September 2014 when Houthi rebels overtook the capital Sanaa and overthrew the government.
A Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries began a military campaign against the Houthi forces in March 2015, which was meant to serve as a counterbalance to Iran’s influence with the Houthis following its nuclear deal.
The letter was a response to Iranian diplomat Abbas Yazdani’s statement at the end of the General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting on September 26. He dismissed as accusations by the UAE’s foreign minister that Tehran was supporting the Houthis when UAE jet fighters were “bombing innocent civilians in Yemen” as part of the Saudi-led coalition, as “absurd and hypocritical”. Yazdani accused the UAE and their “accomplices” of trying to impede the nuclear deal.
Although the 11 countries reaffirmed support of the nuclear agreement, which caps Iran’s nuclear activities and lifts international nuclear-related sanctions, they said, ”Unfortunately, we have seen nothing but increased Iranian aggression in the region and the continuation of support for terrorist groups since the deal was signed last year.”
“We remain firm in our resolve,” the Arab nations said, “that any interference by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the domestic affairs of Arab states is unacceptable and must be confronted.”
The letter to the 193-member General Assembly was meant “to warn them about Iran’s nefarious behavior, and to pressure Iran to stop funding and arming militias that destabilize our region.”
, published in the National World on November 15, also talks about accusations from the Middle East and North African countries saying Iran sponsors terrorism and interferes with the internal affairs of Arab nations, causing tension and instability in the region and refers to the letter to the UN General Assembly circulated on Monday. They roundly condemned Iran for sponsoring terrorism in the region.
The UAE’s UN ambassador Lana Nusseibeh accused Iran of “fueling the violence in Yemen, and in other parts of the Middle East”.
Fox News, as well, wrote on November 14, about the letter from the eleven Middle East and North African countries, that accuses Iran of sponsoring “terrorism” and constantly interfering in the internal affairs of Arab nations, sparking tension and instability in the region, saying that it was organized by the United Arab Emirates, which was signed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, among others.