August 17, 2020
The secretary-general of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Sunday denounced “threats” made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other officials against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over its peace agreement with Israel.
In a statement, Secretary-General Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf said the GCC stands in solidarity with UAE against any threats to its security or sovereignty.
“Iran must adhere to the UN Charter and refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs of other nations,” the statement said.
Iran on Saturday issued an explicit threat to launch an attack against the UAE, with Rouhani saying the UAE made a “huge mistake” in reaching the deal with Israel.
A front-page editorial by Iran’s hard-line daily Kayhan, whose editor in chief is appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned: “The UAE’s great betrayal of the Palestinian people … will turn this small, rich country, which is heavily dependent on security, into a legitimate and easy target.”
Analysts said the new threat must be taken seriously considering that Iran has already targeted Saudi civilians with missiles launched by its proxy forces in Iraq and Yemen.
Earlier Sunday, the UAE summoned the Chargé d’Affairs at the Iranian embassy in Abu Dhabi to explain the threats.
The UAE is a member of the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.
The landmark agreement, brokered by US President Donald Trump and made known on Aug. 13, was meant to advance peace in the Middle East region, according to a joint statement by the parties concerned.
Israel was obliged to suspend plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank as the two nations work on full normalization of diplomatic relations.
Ali Abdullah Al-Ahmed, the Emirati ambassador to France, explained that the deal was just a start but, but the return of the two-state solution — which Israel had previously junked — to the negotiating table was already undoubtedly an accomplishment.
The UAE’s GCC allies had expressed support to the agreement to normalize ties with Israel and said they hope it would contribute to peace in the region.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi also highlighted the deal, saying it would halt Israeli annexation of Palestinian land.
Various countries, notably China, France, and Britain, also welcomed the deal and hoped it could lead to wider peace in the Middle East.