U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, called a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would be the Iranian regime's "worst nightmare," in an opinion piece published by Fox News overnight Tuesday.
"A successful comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is among the important tools we have to help bring regional stability and prevent Iranian terror," Greenblatt wrote in the opinion piece that was co-authored by Brian Hook, the American special representative for Iran.
>> Read more: Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special troll to the Middle East | Opinion
"The Iranian regime’s regional aggression has brought the Arab nations and Israel together to an unprecedented degree, creating cooperation that can ultimately help advance diplomatic progress in other areas, including peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer – if it ever was – the core conflict of the region," Greenblatt and Hook wrote.
Greenblatt's comments came against the backdrop of increasing tensions between the United States and Iran. They follow stiffer economic sanctions that imposed by Washington on the Iranian regime and claims by both Iran and the United States that they shot down each other's drones over the Strait of Hormuz.
Greenblatt's latest visit to the Middle East also follows an American-sponsored conference in the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain in June focusing on the economic aspects of the peace plan.
- Kushner, other senior U.S. officials to visit Mideast next week for talks on economic chapter of peace plan
- U.S. Mideast envoy: Trump hopes to decide soon on when to publish peace plan
- U.S. envoy Greenblatt: Israel 'victim' in conflict, rejects the term 'settlements'
The Palestinian government officially boycotted the conference and Palestinian Social Development Minister Ahmed Majdalani said "any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator with the Americans and Israel."
One Palestinian businessman who attended the conference, Salah Abu Miala, was detained by Palestinian security forces for a time after returning from the conference.
"The world should be rooting for the Trump administration’s peace vision and the future generations of Israelis and Palestinians who have suffered from this decades-old conflict," Greenblatt and Hook wrote on the Fox website. "The world should be united against Iran’s illicit business and terror activities. Put simply: A successful comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is among the important tools we have to help bring regional stability and prevent Iranian terror. It would be Iran’s worst nightmare."
On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in a CNN interview that the United States is "not ready to talk about Palestinian state" as it would pose an existential security threat to Israel and Jordan.
“The last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state. Right now the Palestinian government is so weak,” he said. He added that the U.S. administration wants the Palestinians to have an economy and govern themselves.