| 27 May 2024, Monday |

UAE security official in Iran to discuss ties, regional issues – state media

On Monday, the senior national security advisor of the United Arab Emirates met with his Iranian counterpart in a rare visit to Iran in a diplomatic effort aimed at addressing long-standing tensions and expanding cooperation.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit came only days after Tehran and international countries called off talks in Vienna to resurrect Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, which Washington abandoned three years ago and reimposed punishing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Sheikh Tahnoon, a brother of the UAE’s de facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, met with Iran’s top security official Ali Shamkhani to discuss boosting bilateral ties and regional challenges, according to Iran’s Nournews.

With almost a century of economic relations to Iran, the emirate of Dubai, 150 kilometers (100 miles) across the Gulf, has long been one of Iran’s key contacts to the outside world.

They were, however, on opposing sides in the conflict in Yeman. The UAE is an important component of the Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally recognized government against Iran-backed Houthi militants.

Following assaults on tankers in Gulf seas and on Saudi energy facilities in 2019, the UAE began interacting with Iran in 2019. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim country, initiated direct negotiations with Iran in April, describing the meetings as “cordial” but primarily exploratory.

Analysts say Tehran cannot afford to lose Dubai as a trading gateway, especially because US sanctions have curtailed its oil exports and made doing foreign business more difficult.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE president’s diplomatic adviser, stated last month that the UAE is taking efforts to de-escalate tensions with Iran as part of a deliberate shift toward dialogue and away from confrontation.

  • Reuters