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Iran warns Arab states: Don't be enticed by Israeli attempts to win Arab allies

February 23, 2017 11:31

"The occupying regime, in an attempt to normalize its situation, has for the first time referred to certain Arab countries as its allies against the resistance front," Rouhani says.

Netanyahu says Arab countries increasingly see Israel as an ally (credit: PMO)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Arab countries on Wednesday not to be enticed by Israeli attempts to find allies in the Arab world.

Speaking at a conference in Tehran focused on Iranian support for the Palestinians, Rouhani said, "The occupying regime, in an attempt to normalize its situation, has for the first time referred to certain Arab countries as its allies against the resistance front, instead of describing them as its enemies."

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In apparent reference to repeated statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about improving relations with moderate Arab countries in the face of the common threat posed by Iran, Rouhani was quoted by Press TV as saying that Israel "claims that most of the Arab countries are not the enemies of Zionism or opposed to occupation anymore, but that they share the same phobia about resistance.”

Rouhani called on Arab countries to be vigilant in the face of what he referred to as Israeli "plots." The Iranian leader called on the Muslim world to make a clear statement against Israeli efforts to normalize relations with the Arab world, according to Press TV.

"Isn’t it time that neighbors once and for all say ‘No’ to war and fratricide?" Rouhani asked. He lamented Arab countries giving Israel a pass on its treatment of the Palestinians.

On Sunday, speaking at the annual Munich Security Conference, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called for working with Sunni Arab states in order to defeat radicalism in the region. 

Liberman accused Iran of trying to undermine Saudi Arabia and said that Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, is “the No. 1 terrorist in the world.”

“If you ask me, ‘What is the biggest news in the Middle East?’ I think that [for] the first time since 1948 the moderate Arab world, Sunni world, understands that the biggest threat for them is not Israel, not Jews and not Zionism, but Iran and Iranian proxies,” Liberman said, pointing to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the Houthi militia in Yemen.

The Iranians aim to “undermine stability in every country in the Middle East... their main destination at the end of the day is Saudi Arabia,” Liberman said, adding that Bahrain was also in Tehran’s crosshairs.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.

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  • hassan rouhani
  • iran and israel
  • israel and saudi arabia
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