JERUSALEM, Israel – The United Arab Emirates on Sunday announced it is upgrading ties with Iran and plans to reinstate its ambassador to Tehran for the first time in six years.
The move is in line with the UAE’s efforts to “strengthen relations” with Iran and “achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry confirmed that Ambassador Saif Mohammed Al Zaab will resume his duties in Iran “in the coming days.”
The UAE downgraded ties with Iran in 2016, in solidarity with Saudi Arabia, after Iranian protestors stormed the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran to protest Riyadh executing a prominent Shiite cleric. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries have long viewed Iran as a regional threat. Tensions rose further when the UAE supported the Trump administration’s 2018 unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal XXX, and campaign of heavy economic sanctions.
Just one year later, in 2019, the UAE signaled it had reconsidered its decision to isolate Iran and began re-engaging with Tehran after the Islamic republic was blamed for several attacks on Saudi oil facilities and oil tankers off the UAE coast.
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