Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told CNN in an interview on Sunday that US-sponsored efforts to normalize Israeli relations with Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, "will see no success".
“People in those Persian Gulf Arab countries have a great deal of hate for the Israeli actions, and this [normalization] was only obtained under American pressure,” claimed Raisi. “The frame of thought of the Americans was that they are somehow creating security for the Zionist regime, whereas normalization of certain countries with Israel does not buy security for the Zionist regime.”
Israel, he claimed, “is facing internal strife and difficulties and it is hated outside, whether it is by countries of Muslim faith or otherwise. Across the world today, know that the Zionist regime is the most hated for crimes against humanity, and the trampling upon of many agreements that it should have adhered to thus far.”
“This normalization will see no success, just like in previous cases, and this is not a solution for the Zionist regime. After seven and a half decades, they must go back to the principle founded in giving the rights to the Palestinian people that they are owed. The path must start from that point of origin,” said Raisi.
The comments come as Israel and Saudi Arabia are reportedly close to reaching an agreement on normalization.
In his speech before the General Assembly on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he believes “that we are at the cusp of a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Such a peace will go a long way to ending the Arab-Israeli conflict."
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman commented on the negotiations with Israel in an interview with Fox News which aired on Wednesday.
"Every day we get closer, it seems it's for the first time real one serious. We get to see how it goes," he said, adding his country could work with Israel, no matter who is in charge and calling a potential deal "the biggest historical deal since the end of the Cold War."
In the interview with CNN, Raisi also said Iran had not said it does not want nuclear inspectors from the United Nations' nuclear watchdog in the country. Iran recently withdrew accreditation from several inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), citing "political abuses" by the United States, France, Germany and Britain.
Commenting on his country’s nuclear program, Raisi said, "We have announced time and time again that the use of nuclear weapons, the use of weapons of mass destruction in general, do not have a place. Why? Because we don't believe in it, nor do we have a need for it."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran hasn't said we do not wish any inspectors to be here," he added.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)