Iran appoints 1st envoy to UAE since 2016 thaw

5 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

iran World

The emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has long been one of Iran's key points of contact with the outside world.

According to Dawn, Iran selected its first ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following a 2016 thaw and realignment of relations between Gulf governments and Iran. According to Iranian official media, Iran’s newly nominated ambassador Reza Ameri formerly worked as the Director General of the Foreign Ministry’s Iranian Expatriates office. In August of last year, the UAE announced the return of its ambassador to Tehran, signaling a significant turnaround in their previously difficult relations.

According to Dawn, the UAE downgraded relations with Iran after Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protestors stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to Riyadh’s death of a prominent Shiite cleric.

Previously, antagonism between Iran and Saudi Arabia undermined Gulf stability and security and spurred conflicts from Yemen to Syria. But, in a big breakthrough last month, Riyadh declared that it will re-establish contacts with Tehran in a deal mediated by China, signaling a substantial shift in the two countries years of antagonism.

The UAE, which has had economic and trading connections with Iran for almost a century, began re-engaging with Tehran in 2019 following attacks in Gulf waterways and on Saudi oil sites, according to Dawn. The emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has long been one of Iran’s key points of contact with the outside world.

Meanwhile, top Saudi and Iranian envoys will meet in Beijing on Thursday, according to an Iranian official and a Saudi-owned daily, as the two regional foes attempt to iron out the next steps of their diplomatic thaw amid a China-brokered pact, said Dawn.

The meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, will be the first formal encounter between Saudi Arabia and Iran’s top diplomats in over seven years.