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Iran says US-Israel joint defense pact will fuel regional tensions

People holding placards gather outside the former US Embassy building to stage a protest against United States due to the 42nd anniversary of the occupation of former US Embassy building in Tehran, Iran on November 04, 2021. [Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]
People holding placards gather outside the former US Embassy building to stage a protest against United States due to the 42nd anniversary of the occupation of former US Embassy building in Tehran, Iran on November 04, 2021. [Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]

Iran on Saturday decried a plan by the US and Israel to form a security alliance with Arab states to counter Tehran as "provocative," saying it would fuel regional tensions, Anadolu reports.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani, reacting to reports about the proposed plan, said Iran looks at it as "a threat to national and regional security."

He said the entry of foreigners in the region "will not lead to security and stability" but in turn "cause more tension and discord."

The remarks came in the wake of reports that the US and Israel are mulling over a joint defense pact with Arab states that would connect air defense systems to counter Iran's drone and missile attacks in the region, Reuters cited unnamed sources as saying on Friday.

The plan, it emphasized, would involve Israeli technology, and is likely to gain momentum during US President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to the region, including Israel.

The report, however, added that discussions are still "at an early stage" and that several Arab countries "who refuse to do business with Israel" have resisted the plan.

Taking strong exception to it, Kanaani said Iran has "always emphasized dialogue, participation, and regional cooperation" to ensure "security and common interests" of regional countries, without foreign presence.

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He said the US-Israeli plan will "weaken regional security" and "secure the interests" of Iran's arch-foe Israel.

He hastened to add that amassing weapons cannot bring security to the region and that the establishment of "common regional security" depends on the "cooperation of regional countries."

It comes amid growing tensions between Iran and the US, despite indirect talks between them, mediated by the European Union, to revive the 2015 nuclear deal resuming recently in Doha.

On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department announced fresh sanctions against Iran, targeting an "international network of individuals and entities" that it said facilitated the sale of Iranian petroleum-based products to East Asia.

Tensions between Iran and Israel have also heightened since Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a missile attack on what it claimed was an Israeli base in Iraq's Erbil region in May, which came in response to an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two IRGC members.

In recent months, there have been many targeted killings in Iran, which have been linked to Israel and point to a growing shadowy war between the two adversaries.

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Asia & AmericasIranMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
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