Signs that Abraham Accords are proving fruitless abound day by day as Kuwait and the UAE reopened their embassies in Iran.
Israel’s efforts to normalize relations with the Arab states in the form of the Abraham Accords have not been moving in a satisfying direction for Tel Aviv these days.
The United Arab Emirates said last week on Saturday that its ambassador to Tehran would resume duties within days. Back in 2016, and after Iranian protesters attacked the kingdom’s diplomatic missions in Iran following Riyadh’s execution of Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr, the UAE cut its diplomatic ties with Iran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia and closed its embassy in Iran.
Ambassador Saif Mohammed al-Zaabi “will resume his duties at the UAE embassy in the Islamic republic of Iran in the coming days to contribute to further advancing bilateral relations”, the Emirati foreign ministry said in a statement. The move seeks to “achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region”, it added.
Other Arab Gulf countries, including Kuwait, made similar moves as Ambassador Bader Abdullah Al-Munaikh handed his credentials to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran last week. Iran’s foreign ministry said on its website as well as Kuwait’s foreign ministry confirmed Munaikh was appointed envoy to Iran.
Kuwait and UAE’s move is only the tip of the iceberg
Besides what Kuwait and UAE did, there are more signs of the failure of the Abraham Accords that Israel should be worried about; According to a report by the newspaper Israel Hayom last week on Thursday, for example, Oman decided to keep its airspace closed to Israeli flights, a week after the chief executive of Israel’s carrier El Al – Dina Ben-Tal – had said that Tel Aviv would receive official permission from Muscat to use its airspace.
Saudi Arabia has also been moving on a path that is not at all in line with Israel’s efforts to normalize relations with the Arab states in the Persian Gulf.
It was back in May that the kingdom’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud expressed his country’s willingness to resolve disagreements with Iran; “Our hands are stretched out. We are trying to send the message that going into a new era of cooperation in the region can deliver benefits for all of us.” He said in an interview with CNBC news back then.
Last but not least, the opposition to the Abraham Accords is increasing among the people in the Arab states more and more aware. According to the latest polls for 2021, more than 75 percent of the people of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates oppose the normalization of their governments’ relations with Israel, which has increased compared to last year (2020).
In addition, after Israel carried out airstrikes in Gaza for three days in mid-August in which dozens of Palestinian men, women, and children were killed, Egypt and Jordan echoed some of the harshest statements against Israel in the Security Council’s meeting that was held after the attacks.
The sad irony for Israel and its normalizations project is that these two countries were among the first two Arab states that signed the Abraham Accords with Israel.