Iran to declare Bahrain and UAE 'enemy states' following Israel normalisation: Top general

Iran to declare Bahrain and UAE 'enemy states' following Israel normalisation: Top general
General Bagheri's comments escalate the rhetoric of Iranian officials, who warned Bahrain's deal made it a partner to Israel’s "crimes" and accused the UAE of betraying the Muslim world.
3 min read
27 September, 2020
Bagheri said Iran's perspective on the UAE and Bahrain had now "changed" [ILNA]
The UAE and Bahrain will be treated as "enemy states" if Iran comes to "any harm" arising from US-brokered deals to normalise ties between arch-foe Israel and the two Gulf countries, the Chief of Staff of Iran's armed forces has warned, according to a report by The New Arab’s Arabic-language site.

In a televised interview broadcast late on Saturday, General Mohammed Bagheri said that Tehran had received official letters from Dubai in the past which suggested it took a different stance to Riyadh and sought "friendship" with the Islamic Republic.

The official added this resulted in Iran's positive outlook on the UAE, even as the latter was complicit in upholding crippling US sanctions.

In the aftermath of the normalisation agreements signed this month, Iran's perspective had now "changed" towards the Gulf country and Bahrain, he said.

US President Donald Trump has said similar Washington-brokered deal were close between Israel and several Arab countries, including Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia, describing them as marking the "dawn of a new Middle East".

General Bagheri's appear to escalate the previous rhetoric of Iranian officials, who have warned Bahrain that its deal made it a partner to Israel’s "crimes" and accused the UAE of betraying the Muslim world.

In 2016, Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Iran and the UAE downgraded relations amid rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic.

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has faced long-running unrest among its large Shia community that it has consistently blamed on Iran.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Ali Shamakhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, said the agreements expected between Israel and several Arab countries aimed to "fully dominate" the region, during a meeting with Iraq's foreign minister Fuad Hossein.

Baghdad’s top diplomat arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a two-day visit, in which he also met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. The two discussed the US killing in Baghdad of top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani in January, and bilateral cooperation between the two neighbours.

Zarif also called for the protection of Iranian diplomatic mission in Iraq. More than a week ago, Western diplomatic or military installation in Iraq were targeted three times, in attacks Iraqi intelligence frequently blame on a small group of Iran-backed factions.

Tehran’s diplomatic missions in Iraq were attacked last year amid anti-government protests and charges that Iran is propping up the government in Baghdad.

Read also:  Iran FM demands protection for diplomatic missions in Iraq

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also met Hussein and reiterated Iran's opposition to the presence of foreign troops in the region.

"The presence of US armed forces in the region, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, or southern Persian Gulf countries is detrimental to regional security and stability," Rouhani said.

It was the duty of "every country where Americans are present" to try to remove them, he added.

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