UAE ‘betrayed’ Muslim world with Israel deal: Khamenei, Iran leader

Dubai: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the United Arab Emirates betrayed the Islamic world and the Palestinians by reaching a deal towards normalising ties with Israel, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech.

The Palestinians have fiercely opposed the normalisation as weakening traditional Arab refusal to form ties with Israel before the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

That past Arab support was one of the Palestinians’ few advantages in moribund peace talks with Israel. Palestinians have held public protests and burned the UAE flag in anger.

“Of course, the UAE’s betrayal will not last long, but this stigma will always be remembered. They allowed the Zionist regime to enter the region and forgot Palestine,” Khamenei said on Tuesday. “The Emiratis will be disgraced forever… I hope they wake up and compensate for what they did.”

Iranian authorities have harshly criticised the United States-brokered deal between the UAE and Tehran’s longtime foe Israel, with some officials warning the UAE and Israel fostering closer ties risks conflagration in the Middle East.

An Emirati official dismissed Khamenei’s comments.

“The path to peace and prosperity is not through incitement and hate speech,” foreign ministry official Jamal al-Musharakh said.

“That kind of rhetoric is counterproductive to peace in the region.”

Israel and the UAE expect economic benefits from the deal, the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel in more than 20 years, which was forged largely through shared distrust of regional foe, Iran.