Tehran: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has strongly criticized any efforts made by neighboring countries to normalize relations with their longstanding adversary, Israel, labeling such attempts as “reactionary and regressive.”
These remarks came amidst ongoing negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, brokered by the United States, aimed at formalizing diplomatic ties. Just recently, the United States stated that the two nations are making substantial progress towards finalizing a deal.
Addressing an international Islamic conference held in Tehran, President Raisi emphasized the detrimental nature of normalizing relations with the Israeli government, characterizing it as a retrogressive and undesirable step for any nation within the Islamic world.
An Israeli delegation’s anticipated visit to Saudi Arabia coincides with the recent official visit by an Israeli minister to the kingdom. This historic visit to the occupied West Bank by a Saudi delegation was the first of its kind in three decades, aimed at reassuring the Palestinian people ahead of the possible agreement.
President Raisi further condemned any attempts at normalization as “the desire of foreign entities.” He underscored that notions of “surrender and compromise” with respect to Israel were not open for discussion. “The sole course of action for all those dedicated to the liberation of the occupied territories and the Islamic world is to resist and confront the oppressors,” he emphasized.
In 1967, Israel seized and subsequently annexed East Jerusalem, a city that Palestinians view as the future capital of their envisioned state.
An accord between Israel and Saudi Arabia would follow the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords, which in 2020 led to diplomatic relations being established between Israel and three Arab nations.
Last month, in the United Nations General Assembly, President Raisi affirmed that any “relationships between regional countries and the Zionist regime would be a betrayal of the Palestinians.”