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Iran Officials Harshly React To Bahrain’s Normalization Of Ties With Israel

The Islamic Republic of Iran's reaction to the normalization of ties between Israel and Persian Gulf Arab states has been angry and at times out of proportion.

President Hassan Rouhani went as far as accusing Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates of "providing bases for Israel," and threatening that they should be prepared for serious consequences of their action.

Rouhani said that the normalization of Bahrain and the UAE's ties with Israel violates international laws and undermines the region's security. However, he did not say how peace among regional states can violate international laws.

He also accused the two countries' leaders of "ignorance about religion" despite living in a Muslim-inhabited region.  Meanwhile, he accused the UAE and Bahrain of forgetting their responsibility toward the Palestinian nation.

In another development on Wednesday, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that "The two countries will pay a price for their humiliating measure."

Velayati who was speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the International  Forum for Islamic Awakening at the office of the IRGC-linked news agency Tasnim, described Bahrain and UAE's leaders' measure "wrong, treacherous and very harmful."

Velayati said the leaders of the UAE and Bahrain have "built a house on the water." He further added: "Some dependent states in the Persian Gulf region are acting as the US and Israel's puppets," but warned that "They will pay a price for their humiliating act."

He said they should pay this price out of their "national and spiritual assets."

According to Tasnim, the representatives of some 50 Muslim countries, including clerics and academics were present in the online meeting of the Islamic Awakening Forum. However, the agency did not name any country and the only picture of the meeting showed Velayati at the podium.

Continuing Iran's usual conspiracy theory, Velayati said in his speech: "During the past 70 years, the enemies have tried to eliminate Palestine and replace it with Israel."

Iranian rhetoric about US officials and the normalization of ties in the region has been getting increasingly harsher during the past days.

The Secretary  of Iran's Supreme Council of National Security, Ali Shamkhani, who represents Khamenei at the SCNS, said in response to a recent comment by US President Donald Trump, that "the holy defense week" is a time to punish dictators whose illusion is that they are 1,000 times more powerful than Iran."

He vowed that men from the same generation as former Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani will take revenge for his murder.

Taking revenge for the targeted killing of Soleimani has been in the heart of Iranian officials' rhetoric when talking about regional politics. But What Shamkhani said was in response to another development.

Following media reports last week that said Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attacks, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani, President Trump said in a tweet that the targeted killing of Soleimani was carried out for his role in attacks, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death and suffering he caused over so many years, and emphasized that "Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!"

On 12 September, revolutionary guards, IRGC, had already threatened the King of Bahrain with "hard revenge" for the "compromise" he had made with the US and Israel. Following the statement by the IRGC, Iranian hardliners on Twitter wrote many threatening posts against Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

At the same time, many netizens criticized the Islamic Republic's position and said Tehran criticizes Bahrain for making a deal with Israel while Iranian officials interpret any criticism of their positions and performance as intervention in Iran's internal affairs.

Also on September 12, moderate news website Fararu carried a report about the Islamic Republic of Iran's reaction to the normalization of ties between Bahrain and Israel. The report said that the Iranian Foreign Ministry has called the agreement between Bahrain and Israel "shameful" and said in a statement that "The Manama regime sacrificed the Palestinian cause against the occupation for the upcoming US presidential election through the shameful treaty." Fararu also quoted the Foreign Ministry statement as saying: "The Bahraini regime had committed a 'fundamental mistake' by turning its back to its own people instead of gaining legitimacy form them."

Commenting under a report in Fararu news website that had carried the Iranian Foreign Ministry's position on the normalization of Bahrain's ties with Israel, several readers had opined that it was the Islamic Republic's aggressive behavior that pushed Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates into Israel's lap. 

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