Saudi Arabia wants resolute anti-Iran stand from Arab League

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"We are ready to exchange experiences with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab countries and exchange intelligence to confront Iran", Eisenkot said in a rare interview with the London-based Saudi-owned newspaper, adding that "there are many shared interests between us and Saudi Arabia".

While not mentioning Iran by name, he said Lebanon condemned all attacks against Arab nations, but blamed exploitable inter-Arab divisions that allowed worldwide and regional powers to promote their interests. Riyadh, with which Tel Aviv does not have diplomatic ties, is not the only not so obvious Israel's partner in the region, the minister proffered, adding that his country is "usually the party that is not ashamed" of such contacts.

Riyadh's latest effort to ratchet up pressure against its Shiite rival comes after Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia earlier in the month.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told an Arab League meeting in Cairo that his country would "not stand handcuffed" in the face of what he called "Iranian aggressions".

The move followed the unexpected resignation of Lebanon's prime minister, Saad Hariri, citing Iranian influence across the region and claiming he feared for his safety.

"The ballistic missile launched on my country's capital reflects the repeated Iranian attacks against the kingdom, which witnessed the launch of 80 Iranian ballistic missiles through its Houthi agent in Yemen, which was exposed to various cities in the Kingdom, and did not care about the Muslims' Qiblah by launching three ballistic missiles in a blatant attack on Islamic sanctity and a provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world".

The House of Saud has been losing ground in the multi-religious Mediterranean state, and the Bahraini foreign minister at the Arab League summit called Lebanon's Hezbollah militia "Iran's longest arm in the region".

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Eisenkot added that at present Israel has no intention of attacking the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Speaking before Al-Jubeir at the 20-minute session broadcast live, Aboul-Gheit, the Arab league chief, was just as critical of Iran as the Saudi minister.

Bahrain has also accused Iran of being responsible for blowing up its oil pipelines.

Increased tensions between Tehran and Riyadh have fuelled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to working together against what they see as a common Iranian threat.

A source close to Hariri said the Cairo meeting aimed to "continue the series of Arab and global consultations".

Riyadh accuses its foe Iran of supplying Yemen's Huthis with advanced rockets and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia of holding Lebanon and its coalition government "hostage".