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UAE betrayed Muslim world with Israel deal: Khamenei

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TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday accused the United Arab Emirates of betraying the Muslim world with its agreement to normalise relations with Israel.

“The UAE betrayed the world of Islam, the Arab nations, the region’s countries, and Palestine,” Khamenei said in a speech broadcast by state television. “Of course, this betrayal won’t last long but the stigma will stay with them,” he added.

Under the agreement, Israel pledged to suspend annexation of Palestinian lands but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that did not mean Israel was abandoning plans to annex region and Jewish settlements across the occupied West Bank.

“I hope the Emiratis soon wake up and compensate for what they have done,” Khamenei said. “The UAE rulers opened the door of the region to the Zionists, and they have ignored and normalised the question of Palestine.”

This was Khamenei’s first reaction to the agreement between the UAE and Israel that US President Donald Trump announced on 13rd August. His remarks came after a US-Israeli delegation landed in Abu Dhabi on Monday on the first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv.

The Iranian foreign ministry had previously denounced the deal. The UAE downgraded its relations with Iran in January 2016 amid rising tensions with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and Iran’s relations deteriorated further last year following a series of attacks on tankers in Gulf waters while both take opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

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