Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir fired off a warning to Iran that Riyadh will not tolerate the latter's “aggression.”
Saudi Arabia “will not hesitate to defend its national security to keep its people safe”, al-Jubeir said in his opening remarks at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo.
“I trust the League’s council will take on its responsibility and take a decision regarding Iranian violations of Arab security,” he said at a special summit ahead of today’s talks.
The Arab League announced that the group is considering approaching the United Nations Security Council over Iran's "violations."
The minister explained that Saudi Arabia could not remain ineffective as Iranian-backed Hezbollah claims “total control” of Lebanon.
“Iran’s biggest arm in the region at the moment is the terrorist Hezbollah arm,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said. “The Lebanese Republic, in spite of our relations with it as a brotherly Arab nation… is under the total control of this terrorist party,” he added.
Tensions between the two countries have heightened since the abrupt resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who said Iran’s influence in his country and death threats are responsible for his hasty exit.
On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif countered that Saudi Arabia is to be blamed for destabilizing the region by "intervention" into Arab states' affairs.
"Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of destabilization, while itself fuels terrorists, wages war on Yemen, blockades Qatar and foments crisis in Lebanon," the foreign minister posted on Twitter.
Majority Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Shiite predominant Iran have, for decades, held contrasting views on conflicts in the Middle East, including in Syria and Yemen.
Sheikh Khalid said Hezbollah “does not just carry out operations inside the borders of (Lebanon), it also crosses its borders to all of our nations,” making it “a threat to Arab national security.”
The Bahraini foreign minister urged the countries “where Hezbollah is a partner in government to carry their responsibility.”
Riyadh called the ministerial meeting to discuss “violations” by Iran after a missile was intercepted near the city on Nov. 4.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accuse Tehran of “direct military aggression” by supplying the Yemeni rebels with ballistic missiles – a claim Tehran has denied.