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Arab Leaders Condemns Iran for Feeding Proxies and Fanning Conflict in the Region

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Arab league condemned increasing offensive activities carried out by Iranian forces both directly or indirectly through its proxies. The Arab leaders called the Islamist republic nation to cease its acts of stirring conflict in the region, especially when the nations were struggling to combat a global health emergency, coronavirus. Iran itself has been one of the worst victims of the pandemic attack, with the largest count of deaths 7,300 in the region.  According to the information shared by Babel Street, a data analytics company, corona outbreak severely impacted Iranian civilian activity, which dropped by 90 per cent while not much impact on Iranian military activity, which saw a fall of only 30 to 50 per cent. 

In its report, released earlier this month, Babel Street wrote, “Unlike the example from Tehran Grand Bazaar, activity never appears to have fallen below 25% of 2019 levels, even during peak [COVID-19] countermeasures from 20 March to 17 April.”

The report also revealed how Iran was moving its focus from physical activities, funding and training forces to conducting cyber crimes, which allowed the regime to pursue its agenda quietly, without getting caught. “Iran’s model for regional influence is tailor-made for a pandemic,” said McDaniel Wicker, Babel’s Street’s vice president of business development. “We’ve seen increases in cyber activity by [Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps] linked accounts both in Arabic and in Persian, working to get out their messaging, to push some of their proxies toward violence in Iraq.”

Arab leaders criticised the country for heavily endorsing extremist ideology and militant groups in different countries. In a recent press conference held by a senior Iranian official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, one could see flags and banners of a number of militias as well as armed movements sponsored and backed by Iran, displayed in the background. The country supports Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militant groups including the Imam al-Baqir Brigade in Syria, Houthis in Yemen, Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella organization of Shiite militant groups in Iraq, and Quds Force in Israel.

Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Riyadh-based international affairs scholar told Arab News Arab, “Iranian aggression in the region needs to be checked. They have created all these militias in the Arab states as instruments of terror and destabilization and these militias are causing havoc.”

“The Arab League should take more steps to stop Iran from exporting terror to Arab countries. It is a good sign that 95 percent of the countries, especially the Gulf countries, have taken a united stand against Iranian interference,” he added.

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