Islam Times 20 Jan 2021 122021000000Wed, 20 Jan 2021 12:22:14 -0500 12:22 -------------------------------------------------- Title : Iran Blocks Saudi, UAE From Joining UN Disarmament Talks -------------------------------------------------- Islam Times - Talks aimed at overcoming a years-long deadlock over disarmament at the United Nations began in acrimony on Tuesday with two countries blocking rivals from taking part in maneuvers that sparked concern about the forum’s future. Text : Iran blocked Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from joining as observers, lashing out at the former s military record, while Turkey blocked Cyprus in a trend that marks a significant departure from normal UN protocol and might set a precedent for other bodies that operate on a consensus basis. Iran s delegate said that Saudi Arabia had used the forum as a platform for a distraction and disinformation campaign and called Riyadh the largest military offender in the region. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a close ally, intervened in Yemen s war in 2015 to fight the Ansarullah revolutionary movement, while Turkey and Cyprus have long been at odds over the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the island s north. Saudi Arabia s mission in Geneva did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Cyprus expressed deep regret at Turkey s decision. The two-month-long talks that began on Monday form part of the world s only multilateral forum for disarmament. Diplomats expectations for new deals in the 65-member forum are very low, with agreements often stymied by arms producers in a forum that makes decisions by consensus.