The freshly inked peace deal with Israel will change Tehran’s attitude towards the United Arab Emirates, a top Iranian commander has warned, saying that Abu Dhabi will now be the prime suspect for any troubles in the Persian Gulf.
“Unfortunately, the UAE has reached a deal to normalize ties with the child-murdering Israeli regime,” Chief of Staff for the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri said on Sunday.
Tehran’s approach to the UAE will change … If something happens in the Persian Gulf region and if our national security is damaged, however small, we will hold the UAE responsible for that and we will not tolerate it.
The US-sponsored peace deal, which restores diplomatic ties between Israel and the UAE, was signed earlier this week. Among other things, Israel agreed to “suspend” its plans to annex parts of the West Bank. However, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the annexation was still “on the table.”
The agreement has sparked much anger in Iran, as well as many other Muslim nations. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it was a “huge mistake” on the part of the UAE.
Rouhani’s words on the deal have apparently ruffled some feathers in Abu Dhabi, as on Sunday Iran’s charge d’affaires was summoned by the country’s foreign ministry and given a “strongly worded memo,” the WAM state news agency reported. The ministry described Rouhani’s speech as “unacceptable” and damaging to the stability of the whole region.
Aside from the condemnations by Iranian government officials and military top brass, the deal also triggered mass protests outside the UAE embassy in Tehran. On Saturday, scores of university students gathered outside the diplomatic facility to protest the agreement, condemning it as a treason to the Palestinians and the whole Muslim cause.
Setting itself up as the prime target for Iranian wrath over any incidents in the Persian Gulf might have far-reaching consequences for the UAE, especially since the troubled waters are a constant source of international tensions.
The region has seen an increase in foreign military presence since last summer, following a string of various maritime incidents, including mysterious attacks on oil tankers.
The US and its allies were quick to blame Tehran for the troubles, deploying additional forces to the area to enforce “safe” navigation. No solid evidence to back up such claims has ever emerged, however, and Tehran firmly denied any involvement.