Saudi Arabia, Arab Gulf allies warn Iran to stop meddling in Yemen crisis

The warning from the Arab Gulf states comes a week after the US slapped new sanctions on five Iranians suspected of aiding Houthi militants in Yemen.
Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council standing with US Sec. of State John Kerry. Wikimedia Commons.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has warned Iran that it will suffer if it continues to launch proxy wars and support crises in the Middle East. According to the Riyadh-based Arab News site, representatives from the regional bloc issued a statement marking the GCC’s 37th anniversary and denouncing Iran for its involvement in the Yemen crisis.

“Maintaining security and stability in the region is the first priority of the Gulf states,” GCC Secretary-General Abdullateef Al-Zayani was quoted as saying by Arab News. According to the report, he also called on Tehran to “refrain from meddling in the affairs of Arab nations, and stop supplying arms and ammunition to Houthi militants to save Yemen from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

The Houthi group in Yemen receives considerable support from Iran. Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s northern neighbor, is extremely concerned about the crisis in Yemen and Iran’s role in it. Riyadh has even become a target for the Houthi militants. Since the crisis began, over 100 ballistic missiles have been fired at Saudi Arabia, Arab News claimed.

Last week, the US sanctioned five Iranian ballistic experts believed to be affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The men were accused of aiding the Houthis in their attacks against various targets throughout Saudi Arabia, including King Khalid International Airport and a U.S. Navy ship that was operating in international waters.

Mehdi Azarpisheh, Mohammad Jafari, Mahmud Kazemabad, Javad Shir Amin and Sayyed Mohammad Tehrani reportedly provided the Houthis with training, military equipment and finances that they then used to carry out missile attacks.

“Treasury is targeting five Iranian officials who are associated with the IRGC-QF and Iran’s ballistic missile programs,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin wrote in a statement. According to Mnuchin, the Houthis, with Iran's support, have also “disrupted humanitarian aid efforts in Yemen, and threatened freedom of navigation in key regional waterways. The United States will not tolerate Iranian support for…rebels who are attacking our close partner, Saudi Arabia.”



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