Iran Criticizes U.S., Israeli Plan for Defense Pact With Arab States

Ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia, Iran says that the entry of 'foreigners' into the Middle East would only cause 'tension and regional rift'

Reuters
Reuters
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Bahrain's Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani is photographed as he departs the Kedma Hotel, the location of "The Negev Summit", attended by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and the Foreign Ministers of Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt in Sde Boker, Israel, in March.
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani is photographed as he departs the Kedma Hotel, the location of "The Negev Summit", attended by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and the Foreign Ministers of Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt in Sde Boker, Israel, in March.Credit: AMIR COHEN / REUTERS
Reuters
Reuters

Iran's foreign ministry said on Saturday that plans by the United States and Israel for a joint defense pact with Arab states to counter the threat of Iranian drones and missiles would only increase regional tensions.

"The entry of foreigners in the region … will not create security and stability but is itself the main cause of tension and regional rift," ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said, according to state media.

The United States and Israel are seeking to lay the groundwork for a security alliance with Arab states that would connect air defense systems to combat Iranian drone and missile attacks in the Middle East, sources familiar with the plan said.

Speaking ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's trip next week to the Middle East which is to start in Israel, White House spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that U.S. officials are discussing ways of integrating air defense capabilities with regional leaders in the face of a threat from Iran.

But Kanaani said: "America raises such issues… solely with the aim of sowing Iranophobia and division among the countries in the region."

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