Iran appoints 1st envoy to UAE since 2016 thaw


Since a warming in relations and realignment between Gulf governments and Iran in 2016, Iran named its first ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday, according to Dawn.

Reza Ameri, Iran’s recently appointed ambassador was previously the director general of the foreign ministry’s office for Iranian expatriates, according to Iranian official media. The UAE strengthened its ties with Iran in August of last year and announced the return of its ambassador to Tehran, signalling a considerable improvement in their previously tense relations.

As Saudi Arabia terminated ties with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran following Riyadh’s killing of a prominent Shiite cleric, the UAE lowered relations with Iran, according to Dawn.

Prior to this, tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia had jeopardised Gulf peace and security and sparked wars from Yemen to Syria.

Yet in a dramatic development this month, Riyadh declared that it will resume relations with Tehran in a deal mediated by China, ending years of antagonism between the two countries.

After strikes in Gulf waters and on Saudi energy sites, the UAE, which has had economic and trading connections with Iran for more than a century, began to engage with Tehran again in 2019, according to Dawn.

Iran’s principal gateway to the outside world has traditionally been the emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, the top envoys for Saudi Arabia and Iran will meet in Beijing on Thursday, an Iranian official and a Saudi-owned newspaper said, as the two regional rivals work to hash out the next steps of their diplomatic rapprochement amid a China-brokered deal, reported Dawn.
The meeting between Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, will be the first formal meeting between Saudi Arabia and Iran’s most senior diplomats in more than seven years.