Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Iran Slams Normalization With Israel as 'Reactionary'

Voice of America
02 Oct 2023, 08:05 GMT+10

Tehran, Iran - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi denounced Sunday any attempts by regional countries to normalize relations with its arch-enemy Israel as 'reactionary and regressive.'

The remarks came amid ongoing U.S.-brokered negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia to establish formal ties, with the United States saying Friday that the two countries are moving toward the outline of a deal.

'Normalizing relations with the Zionist regime is a reactionary and regressive move by any government in the Islamic world,' Raisi said during an international Islamic conference held in Tehran.

An Israeli delegation is expected to arrive Sunday in Saudi Arabia, days after the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia also sent a delegation Wednesday to the occupied West Bank for the first time in three decades in a bid to reassure the Palestinians ahead of the prospective deal.

Raisi on Sunday further labelled any normalization attempt as the 'foreigners' desire,' while stating that 'surrender and compromise' regarding Israel were not on the table.

'The only option for all the fighters in the occupied land and the Islamic world is to resist and stand against the enemies,' he said, reiterating Iran's position that Jerusalem must be 'liberated.'

In 1967 Israel occupied and then annexed east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as the future capital of their proposed state.

An agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia would follow the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords which saw Israel establish diplomatic relations in 2020 with three Arab countries.

Last month, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Raisi said any 'relationships between regional countries and the Zionist regime would be a stab in the back of the Palestinians.'

Shiite-dominated Iran and Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia, two regional powerhouses, resumed relations, severed since 2016, under a China-brokered deal announced in March.

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