Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni / IMoD
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a situation assessment following a terror attack in the southern Hebron Hills on August 21, 2023

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Tuesday to ensure Iran will not stop Israel from normalizing ties with Saudi Arabia, while Defense Minister Yoav Gallant likewise vowed to ensure the Jewish State would continue its question for peace in the region.

The comments came in response to remarks earlier in the day by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said Muslim countries that normalize relations with Israel are “betting on a losing horse.”


Khamenei threatened states in the region who create diplomatic ties with the Jewish State, calling such a move a “gamble” and warning those countries “will incur losses.

“As the Europeans say, they are betting on a losing horse,” the Iranian leader said. “Today, the situation of the Zionist regime is not one that should motivate closeness to it; they shouldn’t make this mistake.”

Earlier in the week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Israel will be destroyed by its closest neighbor. “This cancer will certainly, God willing, be eradicated by the hands of the Palestinian people and the resistance forces throughout the region,” he said.

Netanyahu said in response that while “Khamenei’s terrorist regime exports ruin and destruction,” Israel is indeed advancing progress and peace.

“Just as Iran did not prevent us from achieving the Abraham Accords, neither will it prevent us from further expanding the circle of peace for the benefit of the citizens of Israel, the peoples of the region and all humanity,” the prime minister vowed.

“The murderous Iranian regime has already succeeded in tearing up countries it has taken over, and now it’s attempting to damage peace efforts, with its threats,” Gallant observed in a separate statement.

“Iran will continue spreading terror and chaos. Israel will continue seeking security for its citizens and peace in the Middle East,” he said.

Two Israeli ministers have visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the past week alone, including one who read a Torah scroll and led Sukkot services in a Riyadh hotel where he and his 14-member delegation were staying.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.