19 September 2023

The U.S. and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states concluded a ministerial meeting with a statement supporting “diplomatic engagement by Saudi Arabia and other GCC states with Iran to pursue regional de-escalation”. They also reiterated “their commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security in the region and their determination to deter illegal actions at sea or elsewhere that might threaten shipping lanes, international trade and oil installations in the GCC states”. Participants further urged “Iran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency” and “to cease its proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles and other dangerous weapons that pose a grave security threat to the region”. The joint statement went on to reaffirm “their commitment to work together to deter and address threats to sovereignty and territorial integrity and other destabilising activities”, while expressing “support for the United Arab Emirates’ call to reach a peaceful solution to the dispute over the three islands”. On 22 September, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Swiss chargé d’affaires, whose country represents U.S. interests in Iran, describing the statement’s claims as “baseless”.

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