MANAMA: Iranian support for subversion in Arab states is as big a threat to the region as the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said on Saturday at a security conference in Manama.
“These actions are no less a threat to us than Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the group and accusing Iran of smuggling arms into Bahrain.
He added that the Houthi militia in Yemen, which Gulf states are fighting and accuse of being a proxy for Iran, which the group and Tehran both deny, can have a future in the country so long as it disarms and participates in a political solution.
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday the United States remained “laser focussed” on what he called objectionable Iranian actions including support of terrorism in the region in the wake of its nuclear deal with major powers.
Addressing the annual Manama Dialogue regional security conference in Bahrain, he added that US engagement in the Middle East, while deeper than ever, was broad and went beyond the military aspect. There was no military solution to Syria’s war, he said.
On Yemen, Blinken said citizens in dire need there could not afford to wait longer for peace, and it was incumbent “on all concerned” to allow humanitarian aid to reach all who required it.