Gulf, US agree joint patrols to block Iran arms
Iran denies accusations by Gulf states that it is smuggling weapons to Yemen, where GCC countries are involved in a military campaign
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United States have agreed to carry out joint patrols to stop any Iranian arms shipments reaching Yemen, the bloc's secretary general, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said on Wednesday.
Zayani was speaking at a news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter after a meeting between Carter and his counterparts from the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Iran denies accusations by Gulf states that it is smuggling weapons to Yemen, where GCC countries are involved in a military campaign against the Tehran-allied Houthi movement.
Carter urged Gulf states to do more to battle ISIS and reaffirmed the US’s commitment to Gulf security.
Speaking following a meeting of Gulf defense ministers, Carter said the US will continue efforts to confront Iranian violations in the region.
The Gulf defense ministers met ahead of a GCC summit with US President Barack Obama on Thursday.
Obama will arrive on Wednesday in Riyadh for meetings with King Salman and high-level Saudi officials.
Both sides are expected to consult on the crises in Yemen and Syria.
This article is part of Al Arabiya English’s Special Coverage on Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia.
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