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Iran's Khamenei calls Arab-Israel normalization push 'betting on losing horse'

The Iranian supreme leader's statement hinted at Iran's growing unease with recent Saudi moves toward reconciliation with Israel only months after Riyadh began its rapprochement with Tehran.
AFP via Getty Images

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cautioned Islamic countries against normalization with Tehran's arch-foe Israel, describing such plans as "gambling" that will be "doomed to failure."

"The Islamic Republic firmly believes that governments that have the normalization gamble with the Zionist regime on their agenda will be in harm's way," Khamenei told a group of Muslim ambassadors and attendees of an Islamic unity event in Tehran on Tuesday. "This regime is dying and those states are betting on the losing horse," he said in the televised speech posted on his website. 

The 84-year-old cleric argued that Israel's enmity does not end with Iran. He said the Jewish state "is overfilled with hatred and rage against all countries in its vicinity, including Egypt, Syria and Iraq."

Khamenei reasserted Tehran's support for Palestinian groups, predicting that "their struggle will come to fruition" and that Israel "will be uprooted by the resistance groups from across the region."

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