The Arab Ministerial Quartet, a committee tasked with addressing the Iranian interference in other Arab countries internal affairs, has expressed grave concern about Iran’s activities. The Quartet is made of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Arab League’s secretary general.
According to the Emirates News Agency, the committee said that the Arab League member states were worried about Iran’s continuing reluctance to cease interference in the affairs of other Arab countries. As a result, they are undermining the security and stability of the region. Iran is also damaging its relations with countries in the region.
In a statement following their meeting in Abu Dhabi, the committee also expressed concern about the sectarian strife that Iran stirred up in countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. This sectarianism has contributed to the instability of these countries and their current crises. The resolution of these crises has also been limited due to Iran’s influence, which blocked efforts by international and regional bodies to peacefully resolve the conflicts.
The Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia also spoke out in London about Iran’s position within the region. During an interview with Foreign Affairs magazine, Prince Mohammed shares the view of the Saudi Arabian government that Iran is representative of the three main ills of the region, borderless ideologies, state instability and terrorism.
“There is no point in negotiating with a power that is committed to exporting its exclusivist ideology, engaging in terrorism, and violating the sovereignty of other nations,” said Prince Mohammed. “Until Tehran changes its deeply problematic outlook and behavior, Saudi Arabia has much to lose from prematurely proposing rapprochement and cooperation.”
The Deputy Crown Prince is facing challenges regarding rebuilding the Saudi Arabian economy after the post-oil era, the costs of the ongoing war with Yemen and dealing with Iranian advances within the region and the instability that is the result.
The Arab community within the region seems willing to acknowledge the negative impact of Iran on the region as a whole, but seem unable to come up with a comprehensive plan to check Iran’s actions, particularly in hot beds of instability, such as Syria and Iraq. However, many Arab leaders believe that ISIS can be contained in the region and defeated, as long as stronger Arab states are willing to be present and active in the process.