World must stand up to Iran’s terrorism

World must stand up to Iran’s terrorism

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN in New York. (Getty Images)
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Saudi Arabia is highlighting to the UN Security Council, and the rest of the world, the importance of extending the arms embargo against Iran. It is making clear to the five permanent members of the Security Council and international organizations that lifting the embargo would threaten global peace and security.

The Kingdom was helped in its efforts by the US, whose officials took part in several meetings and visits to the region. Washington’s Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook highlighted the dangers of lifting the embargo on Tehran. Iran’s criminal and aggressive history is well known. It has smuggled arms to terrorist militias that have targeted Saudi Arabia, including last year’s attacks against oil installations in Abqaiq and Khurais and the targeting of Abha International Airport.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres assured, after the organization’s investigations were concluded, that the cruise missiles used in both these attacks were “of Iranian origin.” The report, published last month, marks the first time that Guterres has openly acknowledged Iran’s role in the attacks.

Tehran threatens the region with its terrorist militias, as well as with its ballistic missiles and, above all, its nuclear program

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri

Likewise, the Kingdom, through its permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, used several virtual meetings to urge the Security Council to consider “very carefully” the extension of the arms embargo, which is due to expire in October under the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The Saudi envoy also condemned Iran’s actions and said that the Kingdom has constantly drawn the attention of the Security Council to “the grave violations committed by Iran (by supporting) the Houthi militias in Yemen in launching many attacks against civilian targets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, contrary to the provisions of Security Council Resolutions 2231 and 2216,” which prohibit the supply of arms to the Houthis.

He added that “the pattern of Iranian behavior aims to create chaos in the region by supporting and encouraging outlaw groups, whether in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria or Iraq. We can only imagine how this behavior would evolve... if the arms embargo were lifted in October.” Al-Mouallimi said that recent attacks in the Arabian Gulf showed that Iran poses a “persistent threat,” adding: “We have maintained a high degree of restraint in the face of all these provocations.”

There is no doubt that Tehran, which poses several dangers rather than offering a single threat, threatens the region with its terrorist militias, as well as with its ballistic missiles and, above all, its nuclear program, which constitutes a threat to the whole world.

In fact, Tehran poses a threat that no other country in the world possesses: Intercontinental terrorist militias, which represent a threat as great as its ballistic missiles. As the October deadline approaches, the world is facing a real test of its ability to stand up to terrorism and criminality. It must deprive Tehran of every opportunity to increase its terrorism and avoid colluding with it — anybody who does would be a supporter of its terrorism.

*Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar. Twitter: @DrHamsheri

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