Iran Threatens Gulf Arabs Over 'US Plots'

Iran's parliamentary speaker tells Gulf Arab states there will be 'consequences' if they continue to aid US sanctions on Iran.

Gabe Kahn. ,

Ali Larijani
Ali Larijani
Munich Security Conference under CC 2.0

Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani warned Gulf Arab nations Tehran "will not forgive" them if they continue backing "US plots" against the Islamic Republic.

"We recommend to some of the countries in the region who sided with Saddam [Hussein] and now are siding with the US plots against the Iranian nation to give it up," state news quoted him as saying.

"Iran will not forgive them again. There will be consequences in the region if new plots against our nation are carried out," Larijani said.

Gulf Arab nations, primarily Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, provided extensive financial and political support to Iraq its war with Iran from 1980-1988.

Larijani's comments come at a time of heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf as Iran finds itself under new sanctions from the United States and European Union over its nuclear program.

Iran insists its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes, but the Israel, the United States, the European Union, and Gulf Arab nations maintain Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons.

A report from the International Atomic Energy Agency in late 2011 said Iran has sought - and continues to seek - nuclear technologies of a military nature.

Iran, as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is prohibited from seeking such technologies and obligated to allow IAEA inspectors into its nuclear facilities, which it refuses to due.

Long-strained ties between Shiite-dominated Iran and Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia deteriorated further after Saudi-led troops intervened in Sunni-ruled Bahrain in March to help the government there crush Shiite-led pro-democracy protests.

In addition, the Gulf Cooperation Council comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have called on Iran to "stop interfering in the internal affairs" of their nations.

GCC nations have also rallied around a call from Riyadh to transform the council into a unified diplomatic and military confederation – and to expand their ranks – as a strategic bulwark against Iran's drive for hegemony over the Persian Gulf.

Most recently, Tehran demanded Saudi Arabia reconsider a vow to make up for any shortfall in Iran's oil exports due to new sanctions, saying Riyadh's pledge to intervene on the market was "unfriendly."