UAE normalization deal with Israel is ‘apostasy’: deputy speaker

September 5, 2020 - 23:8

TEHRAN - Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, the first deputy speaker of the Iranian Parliament, denounced on Saturday a normalization deal between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi as an act of “apostasy” by the UAE.

“Islam, as a religion, has a number of obligations, rules, and dos and don’ts. One of Islam’s obligations is to defend the oppressed and counter oppression. When the Emirates officially establishes and declares relations with Israel, this, in fact, amounts to the issuance of a statement declaring the apostasy of this country,” Hashemi told Fars news agency on Saturday, referring to the U.S.-brokered normalization deal between the UAE and Israel.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on August 13 that he brokered a “historic deal” between the UAE and Israel to normalize their relations, the first such deal between Israel and an Arab country since 1994. The last time an Arab country signed a deal with Israel to normalize relations was on October 26, 1994, when Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel. U.S. officials hailed the deal as a “historic diplomatic breakthrough.”

Under the deal, officially known as the Abraham Accords, Israel and the UAE “have committed to the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, and to begin cooperation in a broad range of fields including education, healthcare, trade, and security,” according to a White House statement issued on August 13.

Iran has denounced the deal as a “big mistake”, calling it a “betrayal” to the Palestinian people.

“They thought that if they approach the Zionist regime, their security and economy would be ensured, while this is wrong and 100% condemned, and it is a clear betrayal to the Palestinian people, the cause of al-Quds and Muslims,” said President Hassan Rouhani, shortly after the deal was announced.  

“The rulers of the United Arab Emirates should know that they have gone in the wrong direction if they think that they can buy security for themselves by getting closer to the enemies of Islam and Iran,” the president stated, warning that “unfortunately, the United Arab Emirates has made a big mistake and we hope it would change its wrong tack. We warn them against giving Israel a foothold in the region, then they will be treated differently.”

Hashemi said the UAE has had secret political and security contacts with Israel and what happened now is the declaration of these contacts.

According to the deputy speaker, some Muslim groups had doubts about the UAE's contacts with Israel, but now that the UAE has declared the contacts, these groups’ doubts have been dispelled.

Citing opinion poll numbers, Hashemi also said that 85 percent of Muslims oppose establishing relations with the Zionist regime and that the Emiratis should expect that the policies of other countries toward the UAE would undergo changes.


SM/PA

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