Gulf Cooperation Council secretary general condemns ‘threats’ by Iran to UAE

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The secretary general of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, on Sunday condemned “threats” by Iran's president and other Iranian officials towards the United Arab Emirates over its agreement with Israel to normalize relations, the GCC said in a statement.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday the UAE has made a “huge mistake” in reaching the deal with Israel, condemning what he called a betrayal by the Gulf state.

The UAE on Sunday summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Abu Dhabi to protest “threats” by the Islamic republic’s president over the Emirati decision to normalise ties with Israel, state media reported.

The foreign ministry “summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires (and) handed him a strong note of protest against the threats contained in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech regarding the UAE’s sovereign decisions,” the official WAM news agency reported.

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That came a day after Rouhani said the UAE’s decision to normalise ties was a “big mistake” and warned “against opening the path of Israel to the region.”

Without expanding on what that would mean, he said it “would be another story and they will be dealt with in another way,” Iran’s Mehr news agency reported.

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UAE said on Sunday that such rhetoric “was unacceptable and inflammatory and had serious implications for security and stability in the Gulf region.”

The United Arab Emirates had already downgraded its relations with Tehran in January 2016 amid fierce rivalry between close Emirati ally Saudi Arabia and the Islamic republic.