Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani condemned this week’s agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, saying in a heated speech Saturday that the UAE made a “huge mistake.”
Rouhani called the new diplomatic ties between the UAE and Israel a “betrayal of the will of the Palestinian people and the will of Muslims.”
In a historic move, the UAE became the third country in the Middle East to officially establish diplomatic ties with Israel, in an alleged attempt to stop Israel from annexing the West Bank – a policy Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long pushed for.
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“We are warning them [UAE] do not invite Israel into this region, they will have a different agenda you may be treated in a different way to now,” Rouhani said in a speech translated by Global News.
“They have made a huge mistake and committed a treacherous act,” he added.
Netanyahu has since made it clear that Israel has not ended any plans for the annexation of the West Bank, but rather the policy has been “temporarily” put on hold.
Palestinians also have said this new alliance is not a show of increased peace or security in the region, but rather a move the further legitimizes Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
“I never expected this poison dagger to come from an Arab country,” a senior Palestinian official and veteran negotiator, Saeb Erekat said Friday. “You are rewarding aggression.”
“You have destroyed, with this move, any possibility of peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” he added.
Western nations and Israel deemed the new agreement between the two Middle Eastern countries a success story — an alliance that has been sought after since the establishment of Israel in 1948.
But Palestinians, along with some other Arab nations view the move as an indicator that Israel is no longer receiving pressure to recognize the 1967 borders dictated by the United Nations.
The U.N. recognizes Israel as having illegally occupied Palestine since 1967 – a policy that Netanyahu has refused to acknowledge.
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“Today we usher in a new era of peace between Israel and the Arab world,” President Trump said this week. “There is a good chance we will soon see more Arab countries joining this expanding circle of peace.”
But Iran believes that counter to this agreement showing stabilization in the region, it exemplifies that Israel no longer needs to broker peace with Palestinians in order to grow its diplomatic ties in the Middle East.
“They think that if they bring themselves closer to the United States or the Zionist regime, their security will be ensured and their economy will grow, and this is completely wrong,” Rouhani said Saturday.
Palestinian officials called on the Arab League and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to urgently gather for a meeting to condemn the new relationship.
Though Turkey and Iran are the only members of the OIC that have so far denounced the new ties.
Wealthy nations within the OIC, like the UAE and Saudi Arabia have taken great strides to distance themselves from Iran and Iranian proxies operating under state sponsored terrorism in the region.
Saudi Arabia also has been working with the U.S. in the Middle East to oust terrorist networks linked to Iran – a nation that the Trump administration has increasingly been at odds with.
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Egypt and Jordan are the two other countries in the Middle East that have established official diplomatic relations with Israel. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia also have strong ties with Egypt and Jordan, suggesting that as the oil-powerhouses in the region align with the U.S. and Israel, Palestinian sovereignty is looking less likely.
Iran further threatened to purposefully disrupt peace in the Middle East. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard released a statement that said the UAE-Israel deal would “accelerate the process of the destruction of the child-killing Zionist regime,” Reuters reported Saturday.
Iran has claimed this new found alliance is merely a political move to garner votes for President Trump during an election year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.