Iran’s foreign ministry has harshly condemned the historic Negev Summit between foreign ministers of four Arab states, Israel and the US Secretary of State.
Calling the gathering "an evil meeting in the occupied territories," spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the summit of foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, also attended by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was a "betrayal of the cause of Palestine".
The participants in the summit met on Monday to display their unity against Iran. The Arab states also used the rare event to press Israel to return to the long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.
Tel Aviv says the event would be repeated and expanded. "This new architecture - the shared capabilities we are building - intimidates and deters our common enemies, first and foremost Iran and its proxies," Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday alongside his US, Emirati, Bahraini, Moroccan, and Egyptian counterparts.
"As neighbors and, in the case of the United States, as friends, we will also work together to confront common security challenges and threats, including those from Iran and its proxies," Lapid, who initiated the summit said.
"Any move to normalize and establish relations with the terrorist Zionists and the occupiers of al-Quds (Jerusalem) is a stab in the back of the oppressed Palestinian nation and a gift to the child-killing Israeli regime to continue the killing of the [Palestinian] people and occupation of their land," Khatibzadeh said.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Blinken clarified behind closed doors that the US has not made a final decision regarding the removal of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) from its Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list, which all the five other countries strongly opposed.
History has proven that the "process of compromise and submission" has brought its advocates "nothing but defeat and humiliation," Khatibzadeh said while reiterating that Iran is prepared to cooperate with regional countries and expand its relations with them "to counteract the Zionist and American plots that aim to sow discord and spread instability in the West Asia region."
Tehran’s harsh words came as it has been negotiating for almost a year with Western powers to revie the 2015 nuclear agreement, JCPOA. The last main hurdle is Iran’s demand to remove the IRGC from the US terrorism list.
The UAE, Bahrain and Morocco normalized ties with Israel under a 2020 US initiative known as the Abraham Accords.
On Monday, in an unattributed commentary entitled "Some Truths About the Historical Meeting of Delusional [Leaders] At Negev Desert", Nour News website tried hard to downplay the importance of the meeting and claimed the summit only revealed that Israel is not able to create a coalition against Iran and the "resistance [front]".
The ‘resistance front’ is a term coined by Tehran to describe its allies and proxies throughout the region.
"Iran's recent attack on the Mossad base in Erbil and intensification of the missile and drone attacks of [the Houthis of] Yemen on strategic locations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in recent days revealed that no plot can stop the resistance front in fulfilling security and stability in the region and counteracting the mercenaries of the West," Nour News which is affiliated to the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Ali Shamkhani, wrote.
"All this shows the fact that the Resistance [Front] led by the Islamic Iran is now the main player in the region," the commentary said.