The United Arab Emirates made a “huge mistake” by taking steps toward normalization with Israel, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Saturday.
For its part, Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vowed there would be dangerous consequences for the UAE, and that the deal was accelerate Israel’s demise. The IRGC, designated a terrorist organization by the US, called the deal a “shameful” agreement and an “evil action” that was underwritten by the US, and said it would bring a “dangerous future” for the Emirati government.
Rouhani additionally warned the UAE against allowing Israel to have a “foothold in the region,” the Reuters news agency reported.
“[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.
Iran has “historically been the protector of its neighbors and ensurer of the security of the Persian Gulf,” Rouhani said, noting the Emirates apparently thought the agreement could help guarantee security.
The Iranian president also suggested the deal was announced to help US President Donald Trump’s reelection chances in November.
“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.
The UAE, Israel and the US issued a joint statement on Thursday announcing an agreement on “the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.” The Emirates presented the move, which was bitterly rejected by the Palestinian Authority, as an achievement for West Bank Palestinians, in that it halts Israel’s plans to annex parts of the territory.
The deal means Israel and the UAE are expected to further collaborate to counter the influence of Iran, a shared nemesis.
In addition to the speech by Rouhani, the IRGC said that the “shameful agreement” between Jerusalem and the UAE would accelerate the process of the “annihilation” of Israel.
“The shameful agreement to normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Zionist regime, which has been designed by the leadership of the terrorist and inhumane regime of the United States, is one of the biggest historical betrayals against the ideals of al-Quds,” the statement read, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
“Not only will [it] bear no achievement for the American-Zionist-Saudi triangle, but it will also accelerate the destruction of the murderous Zionist regime,” read the statement, according to the semiofficial Mehr news agency.
The statements came hours after the UN Security Council resoundingly defeated a US resolution that sought to indefinitely extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which Rouhani said was a “humiliation” for Washington.
The vote in the 15-member council was two in favor, two against and 11 abstentions, leaving it far short of the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption. Russia and China strongly opposed the resolution, but didn’t need to use their vetoes. The Trump administration received support from only the Dominican Republic.
Rouhani said the United States had failed to kill off what he called the “half alive” 2015 deal with major powers that gave Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
“The United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation,” Rouhani said. “In my opinion, this day will go down in the history of our Iran and in the history of fighting global arrogance.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said that the United States should “stop shaming itself” at the United Nations.
“The international community, once again and with a clear voice, rejected the US [in a] reckless and futile attempt to undermine the UNSC credibility,” tweeted Mousavi.
“The American_regime should take a listen from its total failures and stop shaming itself at UN, otherwise it will get isolated, even more than now,” he wrote.
“Despite all the trips, pressure and the hawking, the United States could only mobilize a small country [to vote] with them,” he tweeted.
The Trump administration has said repeatedly it will not allow the arms embargo provision in the Security Council resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers to expire as scheduled on October 18.
Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018 but the five remaining parties — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — still support it.
The agreement is aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons and diplomats from several of the other countries that are party to it have expressed serious concern that extending the arms embargo would lead to Iran’s exit from the agreement, and in turn to fast-tracking its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that Israel and the six Arab Gulf nations who supported the extension “know Iran will spread even greater chaos and destruction if the embargo expires, but the Security Council chose to ignore them.”
Brian Hook, the outgoing US envoy for Iran, on Thursday underscored the support for the indefinite arms embargo extension from the six feuding nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.