A day after the United States and Israel signed a joint declaration of strategic cooperation, Iranian officials rebuked the move, calling the deal a ‘mistake’ and Israel ‘the main source of threat for the region’.
It was on this Tuesday that the US President Joe Biden and Israel’s Prime Minister Yain Lapid inked a joint declaration called the Jerusalem Declaration. The document was signed to improve and increase US-Israeli cooperation on several areas including technology economy, and security issues.
Notably, US and Israel reaffirmed in the Declaration their commitment to try not to let Iran acquire nuclear weapons. “The United States stresses that integral to this pledge is the commitment never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome,” the text of the Declaration reads.
The two also expressed concerns in the Declaration over Iran’s ‘destabilizing’ activities in the region; “The United States further affirms the commitment to work together with other partners to confront Iran’s aggression and destabilizing activities, whether advanced directly or through proxies and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
Iran’s reaction to the Declaration
This harsh anti-Iran language made Iranian officials react, criticizing the Declaration, especially the part about Iran, and even promising a strong response to it. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned on this Thursday that any “mistake” on the part of the US or its allies in the region will see a “harsh and regrettable” answer from Iran. The Iranian president also said at a public meeting in the western city of Kermanshah, that the interventions of foreign powers in the region only result in “crises and destabilization,” while describing Iran’s military power as a “security factor.”
Without referring to any specific names, Raisi further asserted that some countries in the region have become “transits of insecurity and terrorism” from the West to this region, adding that Iran will “not accept insecurity and crisis” in the region. He also noted that normalization deals between Israel and some regional states “will not bring security” to Israel. Raisi was indirectly referring to the Abraham Accord, a joint statement between the State of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States that was reached on August 13, 2020. It also signed US-sponsored agreements to normalize relations with Bahrain, Jordan, Sudan, and Morocco.
Now, Israel is trying to expand its ties with other Arab states to hopefully form a regional coalition against Iran. In addition to the above-mentioned states, Tel Aviv is approaching Saudi Arabia, one of the strongest Arab countries in the region to align with against Tehran.
Nasser Kanani, Iran’s spokesman in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also reacted to the Jerusalem Declaration and wrote in a tweet that “in the joint statement of Biden and Lapid, the steady and firm commitment of the United States to maintain the security and military superiority of Israel is emphasized, but don’t be mistaken; The target is not only Iran, but Arab and Islamic countries must always accept the superiority of the Zionist regime; Therefore, the main source of threat for the region is quite clear.”
Kanani also noted that “as long as the fake government of Israel is the first stop on the trip of American presidents and the first goal is to maintain its security and superiority, the nations and countries of the region will not achieve peace, stability and tranquility,” and that Iran “considers the security of its neighbors as its security.”