Iran’s Velayati Warns Arab League, PGCC against Unilateral Stances

Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati deplored some Arab political bodies’ move to label the Lebanese Resistance Movement, Hezbollah, a terrorist group, urging them to refrain from taking such unilateral stances.

It was not the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) that called Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terrorist organization; it was rather Saudi Arabia that did it under the guise of the PGCC, Velayati told the Tasnim News Agency on Saturday.

“Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman have already somehow parted their way from other countries on such stances, and have indeed indirectly refused to confirm the PGCC statement,” he went on to say.

In the Arab League, too, he added, it was made clear that Saudi Arabia cannot speak or decide on behalf of other Arab states, because Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Iraq later renounced the positions held by Saudi Arabia in the Arab League in the name of the Arab world.

Therefore, Velayati said, calling Hezbollah a terrorist organization was more a stance held by Saudi Arabia than the PGCC or Arab League.

Even the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs recently retweeted an anti-Riyadh post in his Twitter account to publicly express his concern about, opposition to, and dissatisfaction with Saudi Arabia’s unilateral stances, he added.

The remarks came as Arab League foreign ministers on Friday declared Hezbollah a “terrorist organization” for the second time since January, with the abstention of Lebanon and Iraq, and a reservation by Algeria.

Last week, the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf had declared Hezbollah, which has been fighting terrorist groups in Syria and the Israeli occupation, a “terrorist group.”

The six-nation council officially added Hezbollah and all affiliated groups to its so-called list of terrorist organizations, a move that drew widespread criticism booth in the Arab world and elsewhere.