Iran bears responsibility for the reconciliation between Israel and the UAE “in a lot of ways,” veteran US diplomat and author Dennis Ross told Al Arabiya in an interview on Saturday.
“They [Arab states and Israel] see a common threat. Many states in the Arabian Peninsula see a threat [from] Iran, and they don’t see a threat from Israel,” Ross said. “So, Israel becomes a kind of a natural partner.”
Israel and the UAE announced earlier this month that they would normalize diplomatic ties.
Under the accord, which US President Donald Trump helped broker, Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank.
Ross stated that the Palestinian issue has become less important within the region, saying that it is “a reality of others seeing threats that are more immediate to them and that they have to deal with.”
The deal also firms up opposition to regional power Iran, which the UAE, Israel and the United States view as the main threat in the conflict-riven Middle East.
In the interview, the diplomat laid out the options that the Palestinians have, saying that “they shouldn’t be aligning with Iran and Turkey, especially given the Turkish support of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“They [Palestinians] should be thinking about what can they do with those in the region, who fundamentally would like to see a Palestinian state, but who are also signaling that while they’re prepared to do some things for the Palestinians, they’re not prepared to wait forever for the Palestinians,” Ross added.
There is an “unmistakable message” from the region to the Palestinians, according to Ross, and that is that Arab states have their own interest and that they won’t forget the Palestinians. But “if the Palestinians don’t seem prepared to do very much on their own, they’re not going to wait for them.”