Iran says top Israeli diplomat’s trip to Bahrain ‘stains’ its rulers

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Iran said on Friday that Israel’s foreign minister’s visit to Bahrain this week to mark the establishment of ties has left a stain on the rulers of the Gulf Arab state that “will not be erased”.

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Bahrain and Gulf neighbor United Arab Emirates last year normalized ties with Israel in a US-broker deal known as the Abraham Accords, which was based on common business interests and concerns about Iran. Sudan and Morocco followed suit.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday. Lapid visited the Bahrain headquarters of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which has encountered Iranian ships in recent years.


“We condemn any plans that promote Israel’s destructive presence in the region,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency.

“It is unfortunate that the rulers of Bahrain ignore the daily crimes of the Zionist regime against the oppressed but resilient people of Palestine,” Khatibzadeh said, referring to Israel.

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This stain will not be removed from the reputation of the rulers of Bahrain. The people of the region will continue to oppose the process of normalizing relations with the Zionist regime.”

Bahrain, a Sunni Muslim-ruled state, accuses Iran of causing unrest in Bahrain, a charge that Shia Muslim Tehran denies. The island state, which in 2011 repelled an insurgency led by mostly Shia members of its population, saw some sporadic acts of protest after the Abrahamic Accords were signed.

The Palestinians condemned the agreement, saying they abandoned a unified position under which Arab states would make peace with Israel only when Israel left the occupied territory.

Reporting by Reuters


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