Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami reflected on a recent measure by the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Bahrain to fully normalize relations with the Zionist entity through deals mediated by the administration of US President Donald Trump, noting that such a measure will pose a direct threat to security of the entire Gulf region.
Hatami made the remarks in an interview with Aljazeera network, published on Monday, vowing that “Any threat posed by the Zionist regime in the Persian Gulf [against Iran’s interests] will be faced with a direct and clear response.”
The UAE and Bahrain signed the controversial normalization agreements with the Zionist regime at the White House on September 15, amid outrage across Palestine and the Muslim world at the Arab regimes’ betrayal of the Palestinian cause.
Trump, who presided over the signing of the normalization pacts, said “five or six” other countries were close to making similar agreements with ‘Israel,’ but did not name them.
In response to a question about the US insisting on inclusion of Iran’s missile capability in any possible future talks, Major General Hatami said the Islamic Republic will never engage in negotiations over its missile program with the US, emphasizing, “Nobody has the right to ask us to do this.”
Elsewhere in his interview, the Iranian defense chief pointed to the latest armed conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and said the Islamic Republic has given stern and clear warnings to the warring sides about the need to protect security in the border areas.
Hatami rejected claims about Russia’s transfer of weapons to Armenia through Iran’s soil, underscoring: “We have never allowed Russia to use our borders and territories to transfer Russian weapons to Armenia and this is an accusation leveled against Iran.”
Hatami said, “We expect Turkey, as a friendly and important regional country, to help settle the crisis in the disputed Karabakh region through diplomatic means.”
Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it is held by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992, when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.
The conflict re-erupted in late September, leading to the worst fighting in decades in the region.