Iran's president says Emirates made 'huge mistake' with Israel deal

(Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates has made a “huge mistake” in reaching a deal toward normalising ties with Israel, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday in a speech furiously condemning what he called a betrayal by the Gulf state.

The UAE-Israel agreement announced on Thursday, which U.S. President Donald Trump helped to broker, is seen as aimed at bolstering opposition to regional power Iran.

In his televised speech, Rouhani warned the UAE against allowing Israel a “foothold in the region”.

“They (the UAE) better be mindful. They have committed a huge mistake, a treacherous act. We hope they will realise this and abandon this wrong path,” Rouhani said without elaborating.

He said the deal seemed aimed at ensuring that Trump wins another term in the U.S. 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?”

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 neighbours 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.”

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