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Saudi Shura Council Discusses Dwindling Ties with Tehran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – A report by the Saudi Foreign Ministry highlighting the coolness in relations between Riyadh and Tehran during the last two years was discussed last week by the kingdom’s Shura Council.

A number of members of the Shura council called for the adoption of a strategy to address Iranian infiltration into Arab affairs and states.

This report comes a few days following the statement by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal during the meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers in which he called for a unified and joint [Arab] vision” to deal with the “Iranian challenge”

Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Anad, a member of the Saudi Shura Council, said that the report which was presented by the Committee of Foreign Affairs and read out in the Shura Council “dealt with the states whose relations with Saudi Arabia have experienced a political coolness” and mentioned Iran by name.

Engineer Mohamed bin Abdullah Al Quwaihis, also a member of the Shura Council, warned of the growing influence of Iran on the region. He described Iranian interferences in Arab affairs as being “overt” and said that Iran is endeavoring to seduce the Gulf States, and recruit some of the citizens of these countries to work for its interests.

Al Quwaihis called on members of the Shura Council to adopt a security and defense strategy to counter the Iranian infiltration and expansion in the Arab region, seeing the need to prevent Iran from interfering in Arab affairs. The latest of these interferences came with the visit of the Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani to Sudan following the issuance of arrest warrants against Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, Larijani described the indictment of the first serving President as a “dangerous precedent.”

For his part, Dr. Talal Dahi, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee said in the Shura Council that the Foreign Ministry report contained “important issues that constitute a challenge to the Arab and Islamic region including Riyadh’s stance on; inter-Arab relations, the peace process, the issue of terrorism, the situation in Iraq, and the Iranian nuclear project.”

A number of Shura Council members saw the necessity of joint-effort to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons project by exerting pressure on Israel to do the same, in the context of a joint-effort to remove weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East.

The Foreign Affairs Committee also emphasized the necessity of paying more attention to the African continent, especially with regards to a number of economic and humanitarian issues. Dr. Hatim Al Sharif, a Shura Council member, also warned of countries like Somalia becoming a breeding ground for terrorism as a result of its instability, and particularly following the growing phenomenon of piracy seen off along its coasts.