UAE-Israel Deal is Betrayal of Palestinian Cause: Rouhani

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TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has slammed the US-brokered agreement between the UAE and Israel, saying that it “a betrayal of the cause of the Palestinian nation”.

“This move is incorrect, wrong and totally reprehensible, and it is a betrayal to the cause of the Palestinian nation, to the cause of Muslims, and to the cause of Jerusalem,” Rouhani said during a cabinet briefing on Saturday.

Leaders of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are wrong to think that by “attaching themselves to the US and the Zionist regime”, they will guarantee their own security and economical growth, he was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) also slammed the historic diplomatic move as “a clear betrayal of the common cause of the Islamic community”.

The normalization has been “planned and led by the terroristic and inhumane regime of the US”, it added.

The establishment of UAE-Israel diplomatic ties is aimed to “legitimize the Zionist regime, weaken the Palestinian resistance front and put aside the questions of Jerusalem and Palestine”.

On August 13, Israel and the UAE reached the historic agreement to work towards a “full normalization of relations.”

As part of the agreement, Israel will suspend the annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, while it focuses on expanding ties with other Arab countries with other nations in the Muslim world.

The UAE and Israel will also immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for coronavirus.

According to reports, this is the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

Palestine has also slammed the peace agreement, saying it was “disgraceful” and a “blow to the Arab Peace Initiative and the decisions of the Arab and Islamic summits, and an aggression against the Palestinian people”.

UAE says peace move with Israel not about Iran; rejects Erdogan threat

The UAE said its decision to normalise ties with Israel isn’t about countering Iran, and dismissed criticism of the pact from Turkey’s leader.

“This is not about Iran. This is about the UAE, Israel and the United States,” Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, said in a phone interview. “This is in no way meant to create some sort of grouping against Iran.”

He added: “We have a very complicated relationship with Iran. While we have our concerns, we feel also that resolving these issues should be through diplomacy and de-escalation.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Turkey could withdraw its ambassador to the UAE over the country’s agreement with Israel, saying it dealt a blow to Palestinian rights. Gargash dismissed the statement as a “double standard” which glossed over Turkey’s own significant trade links with Israel.

“They receive over half a million Israeli tourists, have $2 billion worth of bilateral trade and an existing embassy there. And I ask myself whether this is a principled position or not,” Gargash said.

Under the deal, Israel agreed to put aside for now its pledge to annex West Bank land the Palestinians want for a state. “We have been very concerned with the issue of annexation,” Gargash said. “Through this imaginative proclamation, we have at least been able to give negotiations space.”

-AGENCIES

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