The United Arab Emirates is set to become the first Arab nation in a quarter of a century to officially normalise relations with Israel. The Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, clinched the deal at the cost of withdrawing his plans to seize parts of the West Bank.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has fiercely denounced the United Arab Emirates’ decision to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel as a “huge mistake” and a betrayal of the Arab world.

In a televised speech on Saturday, Rouhani warned the Emirates against allowing Israel a “foothold” in the Middle East.

“They (the UAE) have committed a huge mistake, a treacherous act,” Rouhani said. “We hope they will realise this and abandon this wrong path.”

He added: “Why then did it happen now? If it weren’t a wrong deal, why was it then announced in a third country, in America? So a gentleman in Washington wins votes, you betray your country, your people, Muslims and the Arab world?”

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced that Israel and the Emirates would establish full diplomatic relations in a US-brokered deal, which would see Israel halt its long-standing plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

If the deal is signed, the UAE will be the third Arab country, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, to establish diplomatic ties with Israel. It caps several years of growing behind-the-scenes cooperation between Israel and Sunni monarchies of the Gulf to counterbalance Shia Iran as an ambitious regional power broker.

The European Union, Egypt, Bahrain and Oman, have welcomed the agreement, which was strongly condemned by all Palestinian factions and Turkey. Ankara (which has active diplomatic relations with Israel) has threatened to suspend its ties with the Emirates and recall its envoy.

Russia and China have praised the deal for the halt on West Bank annexation it proposes.

Rouhani’s statement came hours after the UN Security Council rejected a US resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran. The ban, imposed in 2007, is due to expire in October.

The United States was the only member of the 15-strong council, alongside the Dominican Republican, to vote in favour of the resolution.

“The United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation,” Rouhani said. “In my opinion, this day will go down in the history of our Iran and in the history of fighting global arrogance.”

Israel-UAE Deal Makes Abu Dhabi ‘Legitimate Target for the Resistance’: Iranian Media 

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had reached a deal aimed at fully normalizing relations and establishing diplomatic ties, with the UAE set to become the third Arab nation to do so. Officials in Iran, Turkey and Yemen have slammed the agreement, and called it a ‘betrayal’ of the Palestinians.

The Israeli-UAE Abraham Accords to establish diplomatic relations will turn the oil-rich sheikdom into a target for the anti-Israeli “resistance,” Iran’s conservative Kayhan newspaper, whose position is said to echo that of Iran’s Supreme Leader, has warned.

“The UAE’s great betrayal of the Palestinian people and its signing of an agreement to normalize relations with the Zionist regime, if it has only one result, it will be to turn this small, rich country heavily dependent on security into a legitimate and easy target for the resistance,” the newspaper noted.

According to the daily, the efforts by “reactionary Arab regimes” of the Gulf to move closer to Israel has intensified under President Trump.

“Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are three countries which have stabbed the Palestinian people in the back many times in the past few years. The culmination of these betrayals was Trump’s announcement of a ‘Deal of the Century’ plan in the shadow of the support of these three dependent Arab countries,” the paper suggested.

“To justify their tremendous stupidity, UAE officials have said that they had been able to stop the occupation plan of the [Israeli] regime (the plan to annex 30 percent of the West Bank to the occupied territories). Benjamin Netanyahu immediately said that this plan had not been stopped but only delayed! US Ambassador [to Israel] David Friedman has also stated that the accession plan has not been abandoned!” Kayhan added. 

The reason the UAE agreed to the deal, according to the newspaper, “goes back to the lack of independence of the Persian Gulf states and the fact that the reactionary Arab sheiks are not even allowed to drink a glass of water without Washington's permission.” Politically, the peace deal is aimed at improving Trump’s chances in the upcoming election, and to provide support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “who is deeply involved in a political, social and internal security crisis.”

Ultimately, Kayhan warns that “the dagger that the UAE struck Palestine with from behind will not affect the determination of the Palestinian resistance groups and their supporters, but will have a profoundly negative effect on the small and sparsely populated kingdom…The existence of the UAE is 100 percent dependent on economic enterprises and presence of foreign capitalists who will flee without security. Announcing the normalization of relations [with Israel] is suicide…and will make the UAE an easy target for resistance groups.”

Iranian authorities have formally attacked the Israeli-UAE deal, with President Hassan Rouhani calling the agreement a “very big mistake” and urging Abu Dhabi to “reverse their approach and realize that this is the wrong path.”

Other countries in the region with poor relations with Israel have also criticized the agreement, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatening to sever diplomatic ties with the UAE and close Turkey’s embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The Palestinian Authority also denounced the agreement, as did political and militant group Hamas. 

However, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman and the European Union welcomed the peace deal, while Jordan’s foreign minister suggested that the agreement could help push forward stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

With the formal signing of the agreement at the White House expected to take place three weeks from now, the UAE will become the third Arab nation in 41 years to reach peace with Israel. Egypt did so in 1979, while Jordan did so in 1994.