Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would be responsible for any “consequences” resulting from their normalisation of relations with Tehran’s archrival, Israel.
Rouhani’s remarks came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the UAE signed agreements establishing full diplomatic ties at a White House ceremony.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani said Israel is “committing more crimes in Palestine every day”.
“Some of the region’s countries, their people are pious Muslims but their rulers neither understand religion nor [their] debt … to the nation of Palestine, to their brothers speaking their language,” he said in televised remarks.
“How could you reach out your hands to Israel? And then you want to give them bases in the region? All the severe consequences that would arise from this are on you.”
Rouhani’s remarks came shortly after Israeli planes bombed Hamas targets in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The Israeli raid followed rockets fired from Gaza while the normalisation deals with the two Arab states were being signed in the United States.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said similar Washington-brokered deals were expected between Israel and several other Arab countries, including Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia.
“After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said.
Palestinians who seek an independent state that includes the illegally occupied West Bank and Gaza view the normalisation deals as a betrayal of their cause.
The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from already illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state in exchange for establishing ties with it.
Iran had previously warned Bahrain that its deal made it a partner to Israel’s “crimes” and accused the UAE of betraying the Muslim world.
In 2016, Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Iran and the UAE downgraded relations amid rising tensions between Riyadh and Tehran.
Sunni-ruled Bahrain has faced long-running unrest among its large Shia community that it has consistently blamed on Iran.