Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made a "huge mistake" in arriving at a deal aimed at normalizing relations with Israel. He said this in a speech where he called the action a 'betrayal' by the Gulf state and vehemently condemned it.
The deal, which brokered by US President Donald Trump, is being viewed as rallying opposition to Iran's regional power. In the televised speech, Rouhani cautioned UAE against letting Israel acquire a "foothold in the region".
Call to Abandon 'Wrong' Path
During the speech, the 71-year-old cleric said, "They (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."
He said the deal seemed aimed at ensuring that Trump wins another term in the US presidential election in November and referred to the fact it was announced in Washington. "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?"
Iran a Historical Protector of Neighbors: Rouhani
He added that the Emirates may also have thought that they could guarantee security by getting close to Iran's enemies, but Iran had "historically been the protector of its neighbors and ensurer of the security of the Persian Gulf."
Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps said in a statement on Saturday the UAE-Israel deal, would "accelerate the process of the destruction of the child-killing Zionist regime."
(With inputs from agencies)