Bahrain’s interior minister said on Monday that normalizing relations with Israel served his country’s national interest amid the “constant danger” posed by Iran.

“Iran has chosen to behave in a dominating way in several forms and has become a constant danger that harms our internal security,” said Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa in a statement, according to Reuters. He added that it was wise to forestall dangers.

Bahrain’s announcement on Friday that it intended to sign a peace agreement with Israel followed a similar announcement in August by the United Arab Emirates. Both countries, along with other Persian Gulf states, fear the Iranian threat.

The normalization agreement with Israel “is not an abandonment of the Palestinian cause … it is to strengthen Bahrainis’ security and their economic stability,” said Khalifa.

Both Bahrain’s and Israel’s defense ministers spoke on Monday in their first publicized talks and other ministers held talks over growing business ties, said the report.

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