The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, warned, on Saturday, against Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, stressing that this would “launch an arms race in the region.”
He expressed his hope that the ongoing negotiations with Tehran would succeed in “discouraging it from achieving this goal, to avoid to the deterioration of the security situation to what is more dangerous.”
Aboul Gheit added, in statements carried by the Egyptian Middle East News Agency, that Iran aims to extend its control over the Straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab, either directly or “through the militias that finance it,” stressing that “preserving freedom of navigation without threat is a global priority, not only for the Arab countries could afford it.”
Aboul Gheit pointed to the constant threat posed by the Houthis to navigation in the Red Sea, explaining that “the Iranian behavior in the region, and the clear tendency to dominate and interfere in the Arab countries, are the reason behind the difficulty of establishing a security system in the Gulf-based on cooperation and the common welfare of peoples.”
On Thursday, the US and Iran expressed pessimism about the seventh round of negotiations, which concluded on Friday with an official meeting. The US said that there was no reason for optimism, while Tehran questioned the intentions of American and European negotiators.
A European diplomat familiar with the Vienna negotiations said that the new proposal presented by the Iranians was “Very Tough”, as it “omitted the language of consensus in steps to return to compliance with the nuclear deal”, which was contained in the previous draft agreement reached in June.