Emirati ambassador says Iran has worsened since deal

In a damning letter to the Wall Street Journal Yousef Al Otaiba said Iran remains ‘hostile, expansionist, violent’ and ‘dangerous as ever’ (File Photo: AP)

In a letter written to US newspaper and website, The Wall Street Journal, the UAE ambassador to the United States - Yousef Al Otaiba has said Iran remains “hostile, expansionist, violent” and added that it was “as dangerous as ever”.

In a letter marking a year since the Iran nuclear deal was reached, Otaiba warned that the world safety that President Obama spoke of at the time, would be only short lived and restricted to Iran’s nuclear-weapons proliferation.

And he said the Islamic Republic was interfering in international affairs - not least in Yemen, where the country has been found to be arming Houthis militia in their fight against the UN-backed legitimate Yemeni government. And he added that Iran continued to be a “leading state sponsor of terror”.

“We wish it were otherwise’” he wrote, adding that in the UAE they were “seeking ways to coexist with Iran”.

“Perhaps no country has more to gain from normalized relations with Tehran,” he added. “Reducing tensions across the less than 100-mile-wide Arabian Gulf could help restore full trade ties, energy cooperation and cultural exchanges.”

But he said that since the historic deal was reached last year, Iran had actually increased in its provocation and had continued to violate UN Security Council resolutions, by carrying out a number of ballistic missile tests.

He called for the world to act more forcefully towards Iran as it continued to breach the treaty, stating that the US and global community needed to make it clear to Iran that it would face sanctions and “other steps”.

Otaiba’s letter went on to accuse Iran and its proxies of increasing their efforts “to provide armor-piercing explosive devices to Shiite cells in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.”

He also said that a former military general and adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had called for the annexing of Bahrain, while in Syria, the Iranians continued to deploy members of Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guard.

“It is now clear that one year since the framework for the deal was agreed upon, Iran sees it as an opportunity to increase hostilities in the region,” he added. “But instead of accepting this as an unfortunate reality, the international community must intensify its actions to check Iran’s strategic ambitions.”

And he said it was time to “shine a bright light on Iran’s hostile acts across the region.”

“At the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh later this month, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman should reach an agreement on a common mechanism to monitor, expose and curb Iran’s aggression,” he explained.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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