Politics, Middle East

After Kuwait, UAE to send ambassador to Iran

UAE, Kuwait downgraded their ties with Iran in January 2016

Syed Zafar Mehdi  | 22.08.2022 - Update : 22.08.2022
After Kuwait, UAE to send ambassador to Iran


More than six years after downgrading its diplomatic ties with Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday announced that its ambassador will resume his duties in Tehran "in the coming days.”

In a statement, the UAE Foreign Ministry said Ambassador Saif Mohammad Al Zaabi will be heading to Tehran in the coming days to assume the new diplomatic assignment.

The ministry said the move was in line with efforts to bolster bilateral ties with Iran "to achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region.”

The announcement comes exactly a week after Badr Abdullah Al-Manikh took over as the new ambassador of Kuwait to Iran.

The new Kuwaiti envoy submitted his credentials to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on August 14.

The two Arab countries downgraded their relations with Iran and recalled their ambassadors following the storming of Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January 2016 in the wake of the execution of the prominent Shia cleric Nimr Al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement at the time, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry termed it a "flagrant breach of international conventions and violation of Iran's international commitment over security and safety of diplomatic missions on its land.”

The UAE Foreign Ministry, in a separate statement, said the "exceptional step" was taken "in light of the continuous Iranian intervention in internal Gulf and Arab affairs and that has reached unprecedented levels in the recent period.”

The talks to restore full diplomatic ties with both UAE and Kuwait gained momentum last year after the new government led by Ebrahim Raisi was elected in Iran.

In December 2021, four months after the new Iranian Cabinet was formed, UAE's national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Tehran and held talks with top Iranian officials, including Raisi.

During their meeting, Raisi told the visiting official that his government's priority was "improving ties with regional countries" while emphasizing bolstering the security of the Persian Gulf region.

Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, in a tweet at the time said Sheikh Tahnoon's visit to Tehran was part of "UAE’s efforts to strengthen bridges of communication and cooperation in the region which would serve the national interest.”

In May, Raisi also called for restoring Iran's relations with Kuwait to their "full capacities" in a phone call with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Last month, Iran's top diplomat in a television interview announced that the two neighboring countries would be introducing their ambassadors to Tehran soon, culminating months of efforts from both sides.

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