Bahrain minister slams Iran nuclear deal on Israel visit

Bahraini minister slams Iran nuclear deal during visit to Israel
2 min read
08 August, 2021
Bahrain’s Undersecretary for International Relations has criticised the 2015 Iran nuclear deal on a visit to Israel saying that it "fuelled crises" across the Middle East
Bahrain and Israel normalized relations in September 2020 [Getty File Image]

Bahrain’s Undersecretary for International Relations has said during an official visit to Israel that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, had brought about “more crises and violence.”

Abdullah bin Ahmad al Khalifa said his country had hoped the JCPOA would change Tehran’s behaviour and increase regional security but that such hopes had been frustrated.

“Was there any good result that we have come out with? For us, we haven’t seen it. On the contrary. The JCPOA has fuelled crises across the Middle East,” Khalifa said during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the countries in Jerusalem, The Times of Israel reported.

He added that the deal “has caused more instigation and extremism in many different regions across the Middle East.”

US President Joe Biden has vowed to revive the JCPOA, which former US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of in 2018.

Talks have so far stalled and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran intends to enrich uranium to 20 percent. European powers expressed "grave concern," saying the step endangered talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 accord.

Khalifa also said there will be direct flights between Manama and Tel Aviv within a year and that Israel can expect a “surprise” on September 15, the first anniversary of the signing of the controversial "Abraham Accords" which normalized relations between Bahrain and the UAE and Israel.

The UAE first announced that it would normalize relations with Israel in August 2020, with Bahrain following suit shortly afterwards.

The move has met with overwhelming public disapproval in Arab countries with Palestinians pointing out that the normalisation deals rewarded Israel while it continued to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip.

Sudan and Morocco also announced that they would normalise ties with Israel later in 2020.