CAIRO – During an online meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan accused Iran’s Mullah regime of supporting extremist sectarian militias in the Middle East and threatening international shipping. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Monday that “the practices of the Iranian regime have destabilized security and stability at the regional and international levels.”
According to the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi official told the GCC members; “We look forward, together with our partners in the international community, to consider the causes of tension in the region which are represented by the Iranian regime’s violations of international conventions and treaties, and its insistence on interfering in internal affairs of the countries in the region, supporting militant sectarian militias and threatening international shipping.”
Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, are engaged in a geopolitical struggle for dominance in the Middle East – where Turkey competes with Saudi Arabia over control of the Sunni Middle East and backs the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran’s Mullah regime supports Shiite sectarian militia proxies in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Popular Mobilization Units), Yemen (Houthis), and Syria. In Syria it is highly embedded in the Syrian Baath regime and is now at loggerheads with Russia over control of the regime. Saudi Arabia has opposed Iran’s proxies and arms and financially support Sunni organizations and militias, including some espousing extremist Islamic ideologies, in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
In previous comments, the Saudi Foreign Minister stressed that wherever there is trouble in the Middle East, you will find Iran. In January of this year, Saudi partner the United States killed Iran’s al-Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleiman and Iraqi leader of the PMU Abu Mahdi Mohandes. The targeted airstrike on the two was a clear signal by the U.S. to the Iranian regime to stop attacks on U.S. targets in the Middle East and stop its proxy operations and policies in the Middle East.
The Gulf Cooperation Council is made up of Gulf monarchies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar – Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain are involved in a diplomatic and economic conflict with Qatar. The UAE and Bahrain have recently normalized relations with Israel and the expectation is that Saudi Arabia, and Oman will also follow soon.