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‘Unremovable stain’ left on Bahraini rulers’ reputation, Tehran says after zionist ‘israeli’ FM’s trip

Iran says Bahrain's “despicable” welcoming of Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid to Manama is at odds with the will of the Bahraini people, stressing that the visit left an “unremovable stain” on the reputation of the tiny Persian Gulf country’s rulers.

In a statement on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denounced the move, saying any scheme to bolster the Israeli regime’s “destructive presence” in the region will escalate regional tensions and instability.

Lapid arrived in Bahrain on Thursday to open the Israeli embassy in Manama and sign cooperation deals with the Arab country.

He met Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Lapid’s visit to Bahrain is aimed at advancing the US-pushed normalization deals between Israel and a number of Arab countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

The Israeli top diplomat has already opened the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and promised to establish the regime’s embassy in Rabat soon. However, Sudan’s foreign minister said over the weekend that her country has no plans to open an Israeli embassy in Khartoum.

Khatibzadeh lamented Bahrain’s ignoring of the Zionist regime’s daily atrocities against the oppressed yet resistant people of Palestine.

“Such actions will not give a boost to the legitimacy of the Zionist regime and will not affect the ideal of liberating al-Quds al-Sharif as the first qibla of the world’s Muslims,” he said.

The spokesman also emphasized that Bahraini rulers will not be able to remove the mark of disgrace.

“The people of the region will continue to oppose the process of normalization of relations with the Zionist regime,” he added.

‘Ask people’s opinion before you normalize’

On Thursday night, Bahraini people staged protests against Lapid’s visit, holding placards condemning normalization with Israel.

The protesters shouted “Down with Israel” and “Get out of Bahrain” to protest the normalization of ties with Israel, local media reported.

Palestinians have denounced the so-called Abraham Accords, calling them a “backstab” and a betrayal of their cause.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior leader of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, said Lapid’s visit can be “summed up in one word, which is treason.”

In an interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen, al-Zahar censured the visit as a betrayal “first and foremost to God” and secondly to the people of the Persian Gulf.

“Before you normalize ties with Israel, ask the people whether they agree with what their leaders are doing or not,” he said.

He added the leaders of the Arab countries that signed normalization accords with Israel are pinning their hopes on the US and want to please Washington.

Meanwhile, former Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat said on Thursday night that US President Joe Biden is not quite as committed to the normalization accords as his predecessor, Donald Trump, was.

“Biden says the right things, but does not seem as committed as the Trump administration was,” Ben Shabbat said at a virtual INSS conference.

However, he added that “I think eventually the Biden administration will get more involved in the issue, even if it is moving slower than” the Trump administration.

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