Preparations are underway for an Arab summit in Doha on 30 March. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are leading an effort to set a new Arab agenda post-Gaza. Near top of their agenda is countering Iran’s growing influence in the Arab world. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal today urged the Arabs to “stand up against Iranian challenge.” Prince Saud made the comments in Cairo, where he was attending an Arab League conference [AP, 3 March].
Pro-Saudi TV network Al Arabiya emphasized remarks by the Saudi Foreign Minister, saying that Arab states are facing the threat of Iran’s influence in the region and its nuclear program [Al Arabiya, 3 March].
Prince Saud’s remark of the “Iranian challenge” is the first direct statement against Iran from a senior Saudi official in years. It is to set the stage for an anti-Iran Doha summit.