Arab foreign ministers seen defending Israel and attacking Iran in clip leaked by Netanyahu’s office


(JTA) — The foreign ministers of three Arab countries defended Israel and attacked Iran in a clip sent to reporters by the office of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The clip showed a panel at a Middle East conference being held this week in Warsaw, Poland, featuring the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The Gulf States do not have formal ties with Israel, but they have been growing closer in recent years. The countries share a goal of countering Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa of Bahrain said that while growing up, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been emphasized as the most crucial regional issue.

“But then, at a later stage, we saw a bigger challenge, we saw a more toxic one — in fact the more toxic one in our history — that came from the Islamic Republic,” he said of Iran, according to The Times of Israel.

Adel al-Jubeir of Saudi Arabia said it was not possible to “stabilize the region without peace between Israelis and Palestinians, [but] wherever we go we find Iran’s evil behavior,” according to The Times of Israel. He also slammed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he said would allow the country to get nuclear weapons. The United States had pushed the deal under President Barack Obama but pulled out of it under his successor, Donald Trump.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE defended Israel’s right to attack Iranian outposts in Syria.

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