Gulf states back Saudi in its fight against ‘terrorism’

The six-member regional bloc said the GCC ‘stands side by side’ with Riyadh, holding Iran as responsible

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League on Sunday expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing fight against “terrorism.”

The six-member regional bloc’s secretary general Abdullatif al-Zayani said that the GCC, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi, “stands side by side” with Riyadh, holding Iran as responsible.

His remarks came after Tehran lashed out at Riyadh for the executions of 47 people, include Shiite preacher Nimr al-Nimr and al-Qaeda ideologue Fares al-Shuwail .

Early Sunday, Saudi’s embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad were attacked by Iranian protesters in reaction to Nimr’s death.

The Gulf states - especially Bahrain - have long-accused Tehran of meddling in their affairs.

The Arab League later on Sunday also announced its support to Saudi Arabia in its attempt to combat terrorism, its secretary general said.

Nabil al-Arabi also denounced attacks on the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran, describing the incidents as flagrant violation of international principles and denounced Iran’s interference in the region.

Kuwait on Sunday also expressed its backing of Saudi measures aimed at safeguarding the kingdom’s national security.

Meanwhile, Jordan condemned the storming of the Saudi embassy and consulate by Iranian protestors, calling the act a “flagrant violation of international law,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted a Jordanian minister as saying.

The country’s minister of state for media affairs said Jordan stands in solidarity with Saudi against extremism and terrorism, denouncing Iranian interference.

However, the European Union’s foreign policy chief warned Iran's foreign minister on Sunday that renewed tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia could wreck efforts to find a political solution for the crisis in Syria, according to Reuters.

Federica Mogherini said in a statement that she had spoken by telephone with Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, at length on Sunday morning after violence erupted in Iran following Saudi Arabia’s execution of the Shiite preacher.

Mogherini said that she had been informed of the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran by protesters and of steps taken by the Iranian authorities to defuse tensions and protect the Saudi diplomats.

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