Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (left) welcomes Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri during an emergency Arab League summit in Mecca. (Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council - handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Saudi King Tears into Iran at Emergency Mecca Summits

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had strong words for Iran during emergency summit meetings of the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council held overnight between Thursday and Friday in Mecca, calling on Arab and European countries to take decisive action to stop Iranian “escalation.” The 83-year-old Sunni ruler of the world’s top crude-exporting country called on the international community to use “all means” necessary to stop his powerful Shi’ite neighbor. “The absence of a firm deterrent stance against Iranian behavior is what led to the escalation we see today,” Salman told leaders at the two emergency summits. Saudi Arabia called for the meetings, as well as an emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic States on Friday, following attacks on Gulf oil assets that are being blamed on Iran. He had near-unanimous backing, save for Iraq, which is caught between two of its allies – the US and Iran – and objected to the harsh communique. Tehran swiftly responded to Salman’s remarks, calling them “baseless.”

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