Iran daily says Israel deal makes UAE 'legitimate target'

By: AFP      Published: 05:14 PM, 15 Aug, 2020
Iran daily says Israel deal makes UAE 'legitimate target'
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An ultraconservative Iranian newspaper said on Saturday that the United Arab Emirates' decision to normalise ties with Israel has made it a "legitimate target" for pro-Tehran forces.

US President Donald Trump announced the deal between Israel and the UAE on Thursday, in a move welcomed by allies of the United States and Israel but denounced by Iran, Turkey and the Palestinians.

The Kayhan daily, considered to be the mouthpiece of ultraconservatives in Iran, said the agreement was a "betrayal" of the Palestinian cause.

"The UAE's great betrayal of the Palestinian people and its signing of an agreement to normalise relations with the Zionist regime, if it has only one result, it will be to turn this small, rich country heavily dependent on security into a legitimate and easy target for the resistance," Kayhan said in a front-page commentary.

The deal reached with the UAE is only the third such accord Israel has struck with an Arab state. As part of the agreement, Israel pledged to suspend annexation of Palestinian lands, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that did not mean it was abandoning plans to one day annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements across the occupied West Bank.

Iran's government has strongly condemned the agreement. The move was an act of "strategic stupidity from Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv which will undoubtedly strengthen the resistance axis in the region," the foreign ministry said on Friday.

The UAE downgraded ties with Iran in 2016 amid fierce rivalry between its ally Saudi Arabia and the Islamic republic. But their relations had appeared to be on the mend in recent months, with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif holding rare talks with his UAE counterpart only last week.