Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the United Arab Emirates made a “huge mistake” by agreeing to begin normalizing relations with Israel.
“[The UAE] better be mindful. They have committed a huge mistake, a treacherous act. We hope they will realize this and abandon this wrong path,” Rouhani said Saturday in a televised speech. He added that Iran has “historically been the protector of its neighbors and ensurer of the security of the Persian Gulf.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, agreed “to the full normalization of relations” between their countries on Thursday, drawing praise from both sides of the U.S. political aisle. The move was beneficial to many parties in the Middle East but was described as Tehran’s “worst nightmare” by Brian Hook, the outgoing U.S. special envoy to Iran.
Rouhani also accused the deal of being politically motivated on behalf of President Trump. He said that Trump helped broker the deal to help his reelection odds in November. The regime has also rejected Trump’s overtures to negotiate with it, given the proximity to the presidential election.
“Why then did it happen now? If it weren’t a wrong deal, why was it then announced in a third country, in America? So a gentleman in Washington wins votes, you betray your country, your people, Muslims, and the Arab world?” Rouhani said, according to the Times of Israel.
The deal is historic and comes after relations had already begun to thaw between the two countries. Earlier this summer, the UAE began direct humanitarian aid flights to Israel, a move that was blasted by Iran as “treachery” at the time.
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