Iran's Ebrahim Raisi says Saudi ties with Israel would betray Palestinians

Comments come after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan says talks with Israel are getting closer by the day

President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a news conference in New York. AP
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi accused Saudi Arabia of betraying the Palestinians by seeking to normalise relations with Israel.

“The initiation of a relationship between the Zionist regime and any country in the region, if it is with the aim to bring security for the Zionist regime, will certainly not do so,” Mr Raisi told a news conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

“We believe that a relationship between regional countries and the Zionist regime would be a stab in the back of the Palestinian people and of the resistance of the Palestinians.”

In an interview with Fox News earlier on Wednesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his country is moving closer to establishing formal relations with Israel.

When asked about a prospective normalisation deal with Israel, Prince Mohammed told Fox that: “Every day we get closer.”

President Raisi said Iran has no issue with the UN nuclear watchdog's inspection of its nuclear sites, days after Tehran barred multiple inspectors assigned to the country.

“We have no problem with the inspections but the problem is with some inspectors … those inspectors that are trustworthy can continue their work in Iran,” Mr Raisi said.

Iran's move was a response to a call led by the US, UK, France and Germany at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors earlier this month for Tehran to co-operate immediately with the agency on issues including explaining uranium traces found at undeclared sites.

In his interview, Prince Mohammed warned that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon then Riyadh will get one too.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 6:07 AM