UAE Rejects Iranian 'Interference' After Rohani Calls Israel Deal 'Huge Mistake'

Minister defends 'sovereign decision' after Abu Dhabi summons Iran's charge d'affaires and Gulf states condemn Iranian 'threats'

Reuters
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A group of protesters prepare representations of the U.S. and Israeli flags for burning during a gathering outside the United Arab Emirates' embassy in Tehran, August 15, 2020.
A group of protesters prepare representations of the U.S. and Israeli flags for burning during a gathering outside the United Arab Emirates' embassy in Tehran, August 15, 2020.Credit: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP
Reuters

The United Arab Emirates' agreement to normalize ties with Israel was a "sovereign decision" that was not directed at Iran, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Monday.

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The UAE on Sunday said it had summoned Iran's charge d'affaires in Abu Dhabi and given him a "strongly worded memo" in response to a speech by Iranian President Hassan Rohani that the foreign ministry described as "unacceptable."

Speaking on Saturday, Rohani said the UAE had made a "huge mistake" in reaching a agreement to normalize ties with Israel and called it a betrayal by the Gulf state.

The U.S.-sponsored deal has been seen as firming up opposition to regional power Iran, which Gulf states, Israel and the United States view as the main threat in the conflict-riven Middle East.

"The UAE-Israeli peace treaty is a sovereign decision not directed at Iran. We say this and repeat it. We do not accept interference in our decisions," Gargash said on Twitter.

The secretary general of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday condemned "threats" by Rohani and other Iranian officials towards the UAE over the accord.

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