Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit expressed his “full confidence” that the “moment of truth is coming very soon” in the ongoing investigation into the attacks against oil installations in Saudi Arabia.
He noted that the investigations would “accurately determine” the party behind the attacks, and the identity of those who fired missiles and drones.
“Then, the move will take place in all influential institutions,” including the Security Council, Aboul Gheit told Asharq Al-Awsat in an exclusive interview.
While he praised the “great wisdom” of the Saudi leadership, he accused the Iranian regime of still seeking to export its revolution and called for curbing the Iranian behavior in the region.
“No state has the right to move against another in these illegal methods… I am not saying that Iran fired missiles and drones. I wait for the report. But I have indications that these weapons were made in Iran,” the Arab League secretary-general emphasized.
He continued: “Modern observation in military science through new technologies fully provides the facts about the firing, bombing and destruction… I am quite sure that we will reach a conclusion, as my confidence in the ability of a forensic doctor to determine the cause of the death of someone in an accident.”
Aboul Gheit noted that when the report is revealed, the appropriate action will then be taken, whether in the Security Council, in the General Assembly, in the League of Arab States or in all influential institutions.
“Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the General Assembly that this is a fabricated story. I do not see it at all fabricated. There is certainly damage to Saudi Arabia and bombings with highly advanced tools of destruction,” he underlined.
He accused Iran of trying to promote its revolution since 1979. He said that Tehran was responsible for pushing Lebanon’s Hezbollah to clash with Israel in 2006, adding that Iran should not be allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia or the Gulf.
Asked about an Arab strategy to confront Iranian influence in Lebanon, Aboul Gheit replied: “The issue in Lebanon is very complex, and the intra-Lebanese balance sometimes imposes on the Arab parties a certain situation, because the Arabs do not want to see a clash on Lebanese territory that either repeats the experience of the 1975- 1976 civil war, or reinstates the 2008 experience when Beirut fell in the grip of one party [Hezbollah].”
“Hezbollah is also part of the Lebanese government. I do not want to touch on such a sensitive issue, because this is something that concerns the Lebanese in their relationship with the party,” he added.
On whether the Arab League was about to reopen its doors to Syria, Aboul Gheit said: “Not yet. The Arab collective will has not yet reached the moment to say that we have no problem with governance in Syria.”
“There is an internal Syrian conflict,” he noted. “A regime that describes groups as terrorist, and an opposition that says this regime applies a philosophy that we do not accept. There are mutual accusations.”
Aboul Gheit went on to say: “When the people of Syria, both in the opposition and government, reach a form of internal consensus on the basis of a new or amended constitution… when things settle down, and a new Syria takes shape, I imagine it returning to its Arab League seat. One important thing is that the new Syria will not be thrown into the arms of Iran. This is a key Arab condition in order to allow Syria to return to the League.”
When asked about any silver lining in the Palestinian file, he answered: “The current situation does not indicate this, because there is a US government that is completely biased to Israel.”
He stressed that Israel was seeking to put an end to discussions over important and vital issues, such as Jerusalem, the refugees and the Golan Heights.
“At the moment, I am not optimistic about the prospects for a serious move, especially since Israelis also mistakenly imagine that they have succeeded in extending their hands through the Palestinians to the Arab countries. This is not true… and won’t happen,” he remarked.
He stressed that those who think that the Arabs would abandon the Palestinian cause were mistaken.
“The Arabs are committed to supporting the Palestinians. They cannot accept that Israel dominate historic Palestine and abolish the rights of the Palestinians. This will not happen,” Aboul Gheit concluded.