Persian Gulf and Arab leaders convened at two emergency summits on May 30 in Mecca, hosted by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. The Saudi foreign ministry cited reasons for the summits as “sabotage attacks” on four oil tankers, including two belonging to Saudi Arabia, off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE, as well as the retaliatory drone strikes carried out by Yemeni army forces on two major oil pumping stations in the Kingdom.
The statement released at the end of the summits echoed unfounded claims against Iran and called for collective efforts to thwart the Islamic Republic’s influence in the region.
Iraq, however, with close ties with neighboring Iran as well as the US, objected to the communiqué, which required “non-interference in other countries” as a pre-condition for cooperation with Tehran.
Iraqi President Barham Salih asked the gathering to support his country’s stability, arguing that rising tensions with Iran could cause war. He voiced hope that Iran’s security would not be targeted.
“We are watching before our eyes the escalation of a regional and international crisis which can turn into war that will engulf all. If the crisis is not managed well, then we will be faced with the danger of a regional and international confrontation which will bring tragedy to our countries,” Salih said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a Muslim country that is a neighbor to Iraq and Arabs. It is certain that we do not wish the security of Iran to be targeted. We share a common border that is 1,400 km long and a long history and relations, and it is also certain that the security of a fellow Islamic country is in the interest of Arab and Islamic countries. The region needs stability based on a mechanism of joint security that guarantees non-interference in internal affairs and the rejection of violence and extremism,” he added, according to Press TV.
Iran has also condemned the statement, saying Saudi Arabia’s attempt to rally neighboring and Arab countries against Iran is “the continuation of a futile process that the United States and the Zionist regime are pursuing against the Islamic Republic.”