A Shi’ite cleric affiliated with a Bahraini opposition group and living in Iran said on Sunday that it rejects the country’s decision to normalize relations with Israel and called on the people to “resist this defeat.”

Cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim said in a statement issued by the dissolved Bahraini opposition party al-Wefaq affiliated with him that the deal goes against the will of the people, reported Reuters.

“There is a great divergence between the rulers and the ruled in thought, mind, aims and interests,” he said. “Governments are experiencing a psychological defeat and want to impose it on the people, and the people have to resist this defeat.”

Other opposition groups came out against the deal, including the Bahrain Bar Association.

“What results from normalization will not enjoy popular backing in line with what generations of Bahrainis have been brought up on in terms of adherence to the Palestinian cause,” the group said in a statement, according to the report.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached a similar normalization deal in August. The Bahrain deal was announced on Friday.

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