The Secretary General of the Arab League has said Iran wants to control the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab either directly or through proxies it funds.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit said during the Rome Mediterranean Dialogue mentioning attacks carried out in the 2019 in the Persian Gulf and against Saudi oil installations, as well as Houthi threats to navigation in the Red Sea highlighted Iran’s policies in the region.
The Arab League issued a statement on Saturday quoting Aboul Gheit as having said that both straits are vital for the global economy and protection of navigation in these areas should be a global priority.
Persian Gulf Arab states and their Sunni allies such as Egypt are concerned at Iran’s regional policy of creating and supporting militant groups to expand its influence.
Aboul Gheit said that Iran’s behavior and actions are the reason why it is difficult to establish a security system in the Persian Gulf. Iranian officials often boast of their influence in the region, which largely rests on Shiite proxy forces.
He added that he hopes ongoing negotiations would dissuade Iran from pursuing its policies. Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have begun engaging Iran in talks to reduce tensions.