Arab states warn Iran to back off after Iranian leaders threatened the UAE for announcing peace deal with Israel.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council of Arab countries (GCC) on Sunday condemned what it called the “threats” by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and the Iranian military against the United Arab Emirates over its agreement to normalize relations with Israel.
In a statement released on its website, GCC Secretary General Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf “expressed his condemnation of the threats of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and some Iranian officials towards the United Arab Emirates, which carry serious repercussions on the security and stability of the Arab Gulf region and are inconsistent with diplomatic norms.”
Over the weekend, Rouhani condemned last week’s historic announcement by President Trump that the UAE and Israel will sign a peace deal at the White House in the coming weeks. Rouhani called the UAE move a “treacherous act” that would give Israel a foothold in the Gulf region and warned that “the UAE has turned itself into a legitimate target for the resistance.”
In a separate statement, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) threatened that the peace deal “will put a dangerous future before the U.S. and supporters of the deal.”
Al-Hajraf called on Iran to respect the “non-interference in internal affairs” of the UAE and “to cease threatening language that does not serve security and stability in the region and the whole world.”
The UAE Foreign Ministry “summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires (and) handed him a strong note of protest against the threats contained in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech regarding the UAE’s sovereign decisions,” WAM, the Emirates’ official news agency reported.
On Sunday, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash rejected the Iranian claims, saying the new relationship with Israel “is in no way meant to create some sort of grouping against Iran.”
“This is not about Iran. This is about the UAE, Israel and the United States,” Gargash said.
The six GCC members – United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait- are the petroleum-rich Arab countries that border Iran on the strategic waterway through which a major portion of the world’s oil supply flows.
Tensions are such that even the name of the waterway is disputed, with Iran calling it the Gulf of Persia and the Arabs referring to it the Gulf of Arabia.
On Monday, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter in Arabic to UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, officially inviting him to visit Jerusalem.
“In my letter, I wrote that I have no doubt that future generations will appreciate how brave and wise leadership restarted the discourse on peace, trust, dialogue between peoples and religions, cooperation and a promising future, a beacon, illuminating the road ahead for others,” Rivlin tweeted.