Arab League to hold extraordinary meeting over Iran

The Arab League is to hold an extraordinary meeting next Sunday at the request of Saudi Arabia to discuss “violations” committed by Iran in the region.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates supported the Saudi request, which was also approved by Djibouti, the current chair of the pan-Arab bloc.

Tensions have been rising between Saudi Arabia and Iran, including other League members Qatar and Lebanon.

Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shiite power, are long-standing rivals based as much in geostrategic interests as religious differences.

The Saudi request for an Arab League meeting was based on a missile the Sunni-ruled kingdom says its air defences intercepted near Riyadh after being fired from Yemen on November 4.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, and it has accused the Iran-backed rebels of firing the missile.

But Iran denied any involvement in the missile attack, with President Hassan Rouhani warning that the Islamic republic’s “might” would fend off any challenge.

The Arab League has 22 members, but Syria’s membership was suspended at the end of 2011 following months of brutal repression of anti-government demonstrations and an opposition movement supported by gulf monarchies.

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