Saudi Arabia has issued another warning to Iran that it will not tolerate any threats to the sovereignty of Gulf Arab states. This is the third time in recent weeks that a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has issued a similar warning to Iran.
As protests in Bahrain are re-emerging after one year, Arab states are renewing their accusations that Iran is fomenting the unrest. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by the Sunni house of Al-Khalifa.
Last year, the government brought in Saudi and UAE troops to quell the unrest. While Iran condemned the foreign intervention in Bahrain, it has consistently maintained that it’s had no hand in the Saudi protests.
Nayef also touched on the recently revived disputes over the three Iranian islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb.
After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a rare visit to Abu Musa this April, the UAE renewed its claims to the three islands and accused Iran of threatening UAE sovereignty.
Iran maintains that Iran’s ownership of the three islands is non-negotiable. The islands were returned to Iran in 1971 as the British gave up their hold on the region.