Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir and US Iran envoy Brian Hook stressed on Monday the need to confront Iran’s criminal activities.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Riyadh, Jubeir said Iran is working on arming terrorist groups in Syria and the world. It is also backing the Houthi militias in Yemen, which have launched 1,659 attacks at civilians in Saudi Arabia.
Iran is the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, he declared, revealing that it was also involved with drug networks operating around the globe.
He warned that Iran will become even more hostile if the arms embargo is lifted, adding that it was already supplying terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis, with weapons.
He said that he discussed with Hook Iran’s criminal acts in Yemen, stressing that Saudi Arabia was working with the US to prevent arms from being sold to Iran.
Jubeir said a shipment of Iranian weapons bound for the Houthis was seized as recently as Sunday.
“We urge the international community to extend the embargo on selling arms to Iran and on Iran’s ability to sell arms to the world,” he said.
For his part, Hook stated that the embargo must not be lifted, explaining that Tehran would be “emboldened” as it is seeking to develop its weapons in order to export them to its regional proxies.
“This is not an outcome that the UN Security Council can accept. The council’s mandate is clear: to maintain international peace and security,” Hook added.
The 13-year-old arms curbs on Iran are due to expire in October under the terms of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
He warned that ending the embargo would only fuel violence, hailing Saudi Arabia’s political and economic support to Yemen.
The conference venue displayed weapons, including drones and missiles, were used in cross-border Houthi attacks on Saudi cities and that were supplied to the group by Tehran.
Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah received Hook for talks to discus bilateral relation, cooperation between Riyadh and Washington and joint efforts to confront regional and international challenges.
They also tackled regional issues, significantly Iran’s threat to security.