Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday evening that Muslim countries that normalize ties with Israel “must be condemned,” Iranian state media reported on Tuesday.
“Any country that signs a normalization agreement [with Israel] must be condemned and its actions denounced. It is a very dangerous step and a stab [in the back] of the Palestinian people, the first qibla [direction of prayer, i.e. Jerusalem] and an abandonment of Palestine,” said the Iran-backed Lebanese terror leader in a televised address.
“The ummah [‘Islamic nation’] needs to take responsibility for the Palestinian people. The Arab world must not abandon the Palestinians. The Zionists must hear the roars of the Muslim world,” Nasrallah continued.
The remarks came shortly before Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a series of posts on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, took aim at attempts to further integrate Israel into the region.
“Governments that are gambling on normalizing relations with the Zionist regime will lose. As the Europeans say, ‘They are betting on a losing horse.’ This is the Islamic Republic’s definite position,” Khamenei wrote on Tuesday.
“Imam Khomeini once described the usurper Zionist regime as a cancer. This cancer will definitely be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people,” the Iranian leader continued.
Khamenei and Nasrallah’s comments were widely regarded as directed towards Saudi Arabia, which is considering a normalization deal with Israel. U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Sept. 29, referring to a prospective agreement: “All sides have hammered out, I think, a basic framework.”
Less than two weeks ago, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said in an interview with Fox News that normalization with Israel was “getting closer every day,” and that the kingdom could join the Abraham Accords with White House support.
Vedant Patel, principal deputy U.S. State Department spokesman, told journalists during a press briefing on Tuesday, “I’m not sure that we are really interested in the [Iranian] supreme leader’s point of view on this, when it comes to what we think could be a potentially transformative normalization agreement for the region.”
“What I will also just add is that part of this, of course, with these countries—with Israel, with, of course, Saudi Arabia—the nexus of our bilateral relationships with both of these countries is, of course, the role that they play in countering and combating against the malign and destabilizing activities that the Iranian regime partakes in in the region,” Patel added.
In his speech on Monday, Nasrallah also touched upon the terror organization’s recent provocations at Israel’s northern border, claiming the U.N.-delineated Blue Line that separates Lebanon from the Jewish state was no longer relevant, given that the formal demarcation line was defined “a long time ago.”
“We have the same right to water as to land, and we won’t compromise on that,” said Nasrallah, apparently referring to the U.S.-mediated maritime border and natural-gas deal with Lebanon signed by the previous Israeli government last October under the leadership of then Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
U.N. cartographers created the Blue Line demarcating the 120-kilometer (75-mile) border in 2000 to verify Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, which the U.N. Security Council later certified as complete. The border runs from Rosh Hanikra on the Mediterranean coast to Mount Dov, where the Israeli-Lebanese border converges with Syria.