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Iran, UAE Top Diplomats Keen to Restore Ties

By Orkhan Jalilov September 10, 2021

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This picture shows former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. / Emirates News Agency

The foreign ministers of Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) discussed bilateral relations, noting the importance of consultations on regional and international issues, despite tensions in some areas.

The UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, has phoned his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to congratulate him on his appointment as the Islamic Republic’s new top diplomat. The UAE’s government official further stressed the good and neighborly relations between the two countries.

In his turn, Iran’s newly appointed foreign minister emphasized the strong and stable relationship between Tehran and Abu Dhabi and underlined the significance of consultations between the two countries over bilateral, as well as regional and international issues. 

In late August, Amir-Abdollahian praised his country’s “brotherly relations” with the UAE during a meeting with Emirati Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the sidelines of a regional summit in Baghdad.

“In our conversation, we spoke about the positive intentions of the leadership of the two countries to strengthen ties and emphasized the brotherly relations between the two nations,” Iran’s diplomat tweeted on August 31.

“Iran and the UAE can take long steps towards cooperation and implementation of neighborhood policy and diplomacy,” he added.

Amir-Abdollahian’s tweet comes after Sheikh Mohammed congratulated him on his appointment and sent his greetings to the Iranian nation, which he called “a neighbor and a friend.”

Relations between the UAE and Iran have become friendlier despite long-standing tensions in some areas, including the UAE’s normalization of ties with Iran’s arch-rival Israel.

The UAE claims that the islands of Abu Musa, the Greater and Lesser Tunb in the Persian Gulf were occupied by Iran forcefully in the 1970s. Lesser and Greater Tunb have been under Iran’s control since November 1971, following the departure of British forces from the Persian Gulf and a few days before the UAE declared independence in December 1971. The UAE has also disputed Iran’s sovereignty over Abu Musa, according to the 1971 memorandum of understanding, which should be jointly administered with Iran for civil matters in the southern part of the island.