NCRI Staff

NCRI - The United Arab Emirates has vowed not to remain idle in the face of the Iranian Regime’s growing threat to the Middle East, according to Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, the UAE’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.

During his keynote speech at the 4th Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate organised by the Emirates Policy Centre on Sunday, Dr Gargash told the conference: "In recent days, we have seen Iranian-made ballistic missiles fired by Iran's proxy Houthi militia towards the Saudi capital, Riyadh. This is a serious escalation and one that undermines Iranian claims about the defensive nature of its missile programme. The UAE will not remain idle under the shadow of such threat."

He continued: "The targeting of Riyadh with ballistic missiles only serves to underline the severe threat that Houthi insurgency represents. We cannot stand idly while a new Hezbollah is being built with the support of Iranian ideology and money."

As such, he welcomed and endorsed the new US policy on the Iranian Regime but stressed that there was a need to reach an international consensus on how to deal with Iran because of the “grave risks” associated with Iran's expansionism.

Dr Gargash advised that a good starting point would be reducing Iran’s malign influence in Iraq by pulling Iraq back into the fold of other Arab nations.

He said: “All of this means that there is now a real opportunity for Arab countries to work hand in hand with the international community to consistently push back against Iranian interference.”

He also expressed his disappointment that Iran had to be dealt with in this way, but noted that its current behaviour does not allow for “de-escalation or dialogue”.

Dr Gargash praised the work of the Arab coalition in Yemen against Iran-backed forces and Al Qaeda, with which Iran has a long relationship but noted that the fight against extremism is far from over. He also advised that diplomacy was the only way to resolving the Syrian crises as a military victory for any side is unobtainable.

Dr Gargash said that it was time for the Arab world to take control of its own destiny with regards to Iran and put a focus on regional stability.

He said: “It is only by adopting a strategy focused primarily on achieving stability, that we will be able to alter the current trajectory…So now is the time for moderate Arab countries to come together to build momentum around a common, forward-looking agenda. One that values stability but that at the same time recognizes the urgent need to improve the lot of our fellow Arabs throughout the region.”

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