Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit warned Monday that Iran were the main beneficiaries of turmoil across the Arab world, which he described as the worst he has ever seen.
"I have never seen anything worse than what we are now seeing," Abul Gheit said at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai.
"Iran is enjoying what the Arab world is going through. There are those in Iran who are watching and waiting for us to destroy ourselves." Ties between Iran and Arab states have grown increasingly tense in recent years, with Tehran backing Assad regime, Yemen's Shiite Houthi militia and armed Shiite groups in Iraq.
Iran, which has been accused of exposing sectarian fault lines in the region, especially in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, tried to soften its rhetoric as Rouhani said there should be greater unity between Shiites and Sunnis and that they had coexisted side by side peacefully for hundreds of years.
Iran continues to send advanced weapons and military advisers to its Shiite allies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen while stepping up support civil wars whose outcome could sway the balance of power in the Middle East.
During the Obama era, Iran enjoyed the opportunity to fill the vacuum in the Middle East after the White House abandoned its traditional allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The Trump administration has not been tolerant of Iran, contrary to the former administration.
Referring to Iran as "the number one terrorist state," the U.S. president said the Middle Eastern country supplies money and weapons to terrorist groups. The Trump administration hit the ground running, re-imposing sanctions against Iran in its first weeks in office, and also instating restrictions against those who are complicit with Tehran.
Iran will maintain its support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad despite the deaths of hundreds of its advisers and volunteers in the six-year civil war, a commander said in comments published yesterday.
"We will send advisers in all fields and offer all help at our disposal so the resistance front doesn't break," the ground forces commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Pakpour, told the Fars news agency.
"They are present there now and we will deploy more as long as there is a need for advisory support."
Pakpour said that advisers from the Guards' ground forces, including the Saberin Special Forces Unit, were working alongside those from the Guards' Quds Force foreign operations arm.
As well as advisers, Iran has sent thousands of "volunteer" fighters recruited among its own nationals as well as the Shiite communities in neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also has military advisers and trainers deployed in Iraq. As of early March, at least 2,100 fighters sent from Iran had been killed in Iraq and Syria, according to Iranian officials.
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