Anwar Gargash says UAE-Israel accord not directed at Iran

Meanwhile, GCC secretary general says Iranian reaction to announcement is destabilising to the region

FILE PHOTO: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, speaks at an event at Chatham House in London, Britain July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

The UAE’s peace accord with Israel was a sovereign decision that was not directed at Iran, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said on Monday.

“We say this and repeat it,” Dr Gargash wrote on Twitter. 

“We do not accept interference in our decisions.”

The UAE on Sunday said it had summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Abu Dhabi and given him a strongly worded memo in response to a speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that the foreign ministry said was unacceptable.

The secretary general of the GCC also condemned Iranian threats, which he described as destabilising.

Nayef Al Hajraf said on Sunday that threats by Mr Rouhani and other Iranian officials directed at the UAE would have dangerous repercussions for the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf region.

Mr Al Hajraf, in a statement issued by the GCC secretariat in Riyadh, demanded that Iran “abide by the foundations, principles and bases of international law” and avoid the use of force or the threat of it.

The Emirates said the speech criticised "the sovereign decisions of the UAE", and was unacceptable and inflammatory.

Mr Rouhani's comments on Saturday followed the UAE's announcement on Thursday that it would establish diplomatic ties with Israel in exchange for halting the annexation of Palestinian territories.

Brig Gen Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran's military, also issued warnings to the UAE over the accord.