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Iran's president says UAE made 'huge mistake' with Israel deal


(Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates has made a "huge mistake" in reaching a deal toward normalising ties with Israel, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday in a speech furiously condemning what he called a betrayal by the Gulf state.

The Iranian hardline daily Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said "the

UAE has turned itself into a legitimate target for the resistance", according to its website.

The UAE-Israel agreement announced on Thursday, which U.S. President Donald Trump helped to broker, is seen as aimed at bolstering opposition to regional power Iran.

In his televised speech, Rouhani warned the UAE against allowing Israel a “foothold in the region”.

“They (the UAE) better be mindful. They have committed a huge mistake, a treacherous act. We hope they will realise this and abandon this wrong path,” Rouhani said without elaborating.

In a front-page comment, the newspaper Kayhan said: "The UAE's great betrayal of the Palestinian people ..., will turn this small, rich country which is heavily dependent on security into a 'legitimate and easy target' for the resistance."

Iran often refers to militant forces and regional countries opposed to Israel and the United States as a “resistance” front.

Rouhani said the deal seemed aimed at ensuring that Trump wins another term in the U.S. presidential election in November and referred to the fact that it was announced in Washington.

“Why then did it happen now? If it weren’t a wrong deal, why was it then announced in a third country, in America? So a gentleman in Washington wins votes, you betray your country, your people, Muslims and the Arab world?”

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps said in a statement the UAE-Israel deal would “accelerate the process of the destruction of the child-killing Zionist regime (Israel)”.

(Additional reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Frances Kerry)

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