The Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) welcomes the decisive resolution taken by the foreign ministers of the Arab League countries against Iranian influence in the Middles East and its aggressive interference in the affairs of Arab States. The AFHR asserts that Iran’s belligerent attitude in meddling in the domestic affairs of Arab countries with the intent of causing division and expanding its influence in the region is strictly against international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.
The strong determination to counteract Iran’s influence in the region came following an emergency meeting attended by the foreign ministers of the Arab League countries which was held i Cairo, Egypt. During the urgent meeting which was requested by Saudi Arabia with the support of the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, the ministers discussed various ways to confront Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah whom they accused of interfering in the internal affairs of the nation and hence destabilizing the region.
Saudi Arabia has also accused Iran of supplying weapons and missiles to the Houthi rebels in Yemen which have not only escalated the conflict in the country but have equally threatened the peace and security of other Arab nations. Evidence of this threat is the recent launch of an Iranian-supplied ballistic missile aimed at Riyadh from Houthi militia-held territory in Yemen on November 4th 2017.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights reiterates that the firing of missiles onto the territory of another State is an undisputable use of force against that State and is a violation of both the principles of the UN Charter as well as the values of human rights and freedoms. Under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, States have the obligation to refrain from the use or threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of other States. Although Iran may claim not to have fired the missile by itself, but it has backed the Houthi rebels in Yemen supplying them these ammunitions to wage indirect attack against the territorial sovereignty and integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, AFHR concludes that this missile attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels constitute a breach of this international law.
AFHR also stresses that the missile attack against Saudi Arabia is equally a violation of the basic principles of human rights and freedoms such as the right to life and security of person. The missile attack could have resulted in the significant loss of human lives if not intercepted by the Saudi intelligence forces. Thus, the attack by Iran threatens not only the political stability of Arab countries but also the lives, safety and security of Arab people in the Middle East. This further shows that Iran’s nuclear program is not stopped will pose a big threat to international peace in the future.
During the conference, Ahmad Abu Al Geit, Secretary General of the Arab League, confirmed that the missiles fired by Al Houthis at Saudi Arabia were Iranian. He said “By supplying Al Houthis with missiles, Tehran sends a message that all Arab capitals are targets.” He further added that “Iranian threats have exceeded all limits, pushing the region into a dangerous abyss. Arab countries cherish their sovereignty and are able to defend their stability and security, and would never accept to live under fear or intimidation,”. He equally stressed that the Iranian aggression and influence in the region through its missile program is “unacceptable in form and substance.”
In addition, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said: “Al Houthis fired 80 missiles at my country. Saudi Arabia will not stand idly in the face of such blatant aggression, and will not hesitate to defend its national security and to preserve the security and safety of its people.”
The Arab League foreign ministers also accuse Iran of interfering in the pollical affairs in Lebanon by supporting and arming the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah with the intention of destabilizing the country. This resulted in the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri a couple of weeks ago.
The General Secretariat of the Arab League is believed to have prepared a report on the violations, interference and provocative statements by Iran and its officials, along with memorandums from member states, mainly Saudi Arabia, detailing Iranian interference targeting regional stability. They intend to present the documents to the UN Security Council along with a draft Arab resolution against Iran.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights strongly denounce Iran’s intrusion in the internal affairs and threats against Arab States and urge them to respect their obligations under international law. The AFHR also sincerely commend the diplomatic efforts of Arab States against Iranian interference and strongly urge them to be more united than ever to curb Iran’s influence in the region. The AFHR will further call on the international community, the United Nations and the UN Security Council to pressure Iran to cease from using sectarian strategies in meddling in the affairs of other State as well as to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of independent Arab States.
Arab Federation for Human Rights
Geneva, November 23rd 2017