Arab League flays Iran for attacks on Saudi missions

Updated 12 January 2016
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Arab League flays Iran for attacks on Saudi missions

CAIRO: Arab League foreign ministers agreed at an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday to condemn the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran and accused the Tehran government of failing to protect them.
In a closing statement distributed after the meeting, the Arab League also denounced the reported discovery by Bahrain of a militant group that it said was backed by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
All members of the Arab League voted in favor of the statement, with the exception of Lebanon, where Iranian-backed Hezbollah is a powerful political force.
The statement did not agree on any specific joint measures against Iran but set up a committee to keep up discussions of the crisis and consult on possible future actions.
Top Arab diplomats gathered earlier in the day in Cairo for emergency talks to discuss tensions with Iran.
Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said Iran was interfering in Arab affairs and undermining regional security.
Speaking of the attacks on Saudi's dimplomatic missions in Tehran, he said: "These attacks clearly reflect the approach that the Iranian policy is taking in our Arab region specifically ... with its interference in the affairs of the (region's) states and instigation of sectarian strife and shaking its security and stability."
Al-Jubeir also said the cutting of diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran was a first step and it could take more action if Tehran does not change its policies, but did not expect the dispute to affect efforts to end the war in Syria.
The diplomat said the Kingdom would discuss any potential further actions against Iran with its regional and international allies but gave no details on what those measures might involve.
Al-Jubeir said some countries had offered to mediate but that required Iran to be serious about the efforts.
Meanwhile, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said Iran intentionally failed to protect Saudi diplomatic posts.
Al-Nahyan said the attack "took place under the nose and within the earshot of security forces."
Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby accused Tehran of "provocative acts" and called on Arab states to take a "clear stance" against Iran's meddling in Arab affairs.


Turkish police detain 14 Daesh suspects before elections

Updated 23 min 17 sec ago
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Turkish police detain 14 Daesh suspects before elections

ANKARA: Turkish police detained 14 suspected Daesh members who were preparing an attack in Ankara ahead of this weekend’s elections, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.
Counter-terror squad police in the capital swooped on various addresses in simultaneous raids and took the suspects, all foreign nationals, to police headquarters for questioning, the agency said.
Turks vote on Sunday in presidential and parliamentary elections that will trigger a change to a powerful presidential system.
Police in Turkey regularly carry out operations targeting the militant group.
Daesh has carried out numerous bombings across Turkey in recent years, including an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul on Jan. 1, 2017, in which 39 people were killed and a bombing in the city’s historic heart that killed 12 in 2016.