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Iran threatens ‘dangerous future’ for United Arab Emirates after Israel deal

Tel Aviv City Hall is lit up with the flag of the United Arab Emirates
Tel Aviv City Hall is lit up in the colors of the flag of the United Arab Emirates on Thursday as the Emiratis and Israel announced they would establish full diplomatic ties.
(Associated Press)

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard vowed Saturday that there would be dangerous consequences for the United Arab Emirates after it announced a historic deal with Israel to open diplomatic relations.

The United Arab Emirates is the first Gulf Arab state to do so and only the third Arab nation to establish normalized relations with Israel, Iran’s regional archenemy. As part of the U.S.-brokered deal, Israel agreed to temporarily put off the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps called the deal a “shameful” agreement and an “evil action” that was underwritten by the U.S., according to the group’s statement on a website it runs, Sepah News.

The guard warned that the deal with Israel will set back American influence in the Middle East and bring a “dangerous future” for the Emirati government.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also condemned the Emirati move. In a televised speech Saturday, he warned that the United Arab Emirates has made a “huge mistake” in reaching a deal toward normalizing ties with Israel.

Rouhani warned the Persian Gulf state against allowing Israel to have a “foothold in the region.”

During a trip to Lebanon on Friday, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called the agreement a painful betrayal of Arab and other countries.

At the Emirati Embassy in Iran’s capital, Tehran, on Saturday evening, fewer than 100 people gathered to protest the deal. They chanted “death to Israel” and “death to America” and burned an Israeli flag.

President Trump announced Thursday that the United Arab Emirates and Israel agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.

The Emiratis presented their controversial decision as a way of encouraging peace efforts and taking Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank off the table. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly said otherwise, insisting the annexation pause was temporary.

Trump has presented the U.S.-brokered agreement as a major diplomatic achievement and said he expects more Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit. Israel has quietly cultivated ties with the United Arab Emirates and other gulf countries for several years as they have confronted a shared enemy in Iran.


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