UAE ambassador returns to Tehran six years after diplomatic breakdown

The Cradle, September 14, 2022 — Saudi allies like Kuwait and the UAE are moving to restore ties with Iran, as the kingdom is also inching towards rebuilding ties with the Islamic Republic.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian welcomed the UAE Ambassador to Tehran, Saif Mohammed Al Zaabi, on 13 September, six years after the two nations severed ties.

During their meeting, Amir-Abdollahian emphasized Tehran’s desire to expand relations with Abu Dhabi, and also highlighted the need for regional countries to cooperate for stability in the region.

For his part, the Emirati envoy spoke about the high economic capacities of both nations, pointing to these as a relevant factor for the rekindling of ties.

Last month, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the nation would be restarting ties with Iran six years after a diplomatic breakdown.

The break in relations came after Iranian protesters stormed Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran and set it on fire before local police disbanded the crowds.

The protestors had reacted angrily to Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, despite the pleas of many countries to dismiss the maximum punishment. Al-Nimr was also a vocal critic of Saudi repression, particularly in relation to the country’s minority Shia community.

Iranian officials revealed in July that Kuwait also intends to raise its diplomatic representation in Tehran to the level of ambassador.

Tehran attributed this diplomatic breakthrough to the ongoing talks with Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, Amir-Abdollahian expressed his hope that his nation would see the return of normal diplomatic relations with the kingdom.

The Emirati ambassador’s return to Tehran comes at a time when the Islamic Republic is facing an uncertain position from the US in regards to reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

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