The main national security adviser to the United Arab Emirates government, Sheikh Tahnun ibn Zajed, met on Monday in Tehran with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The visit was aimed at strengthening cooperation between countries that have different political interests in the Middle East. “We welcome the improved relations with the UAE,” said the Iranian president.
Chief National Security Adviser to the United Arab Emirates Government, Sheikh Tahnun ibn Zajed, came to Iran at the invitation of the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamani. The visit came a few days after in talks in Vienna to resume the nuclear deal there was a temporary stalemate after Tehran reported “radical adjustments” to the deal. Further negotiations will be held in the coming week.
As Iranian state television reported, President Ebrahim Raisi said that “improving ties with the countries of the region” was a priority for his government. “We therefore welcome the improved relations with the United Arab Emirates,” he said. As he added, “the security of the countries in the region is intertwined, and Iran supports the security of the Persian Gulf states.”
Iran and the UAE are on different sides of the geopolitical rivalry in the Middle East, including the Yemen war. The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition that supports the internationally recognized government of Yemen fighting against Iranian-backed Houthi.
Iran’s state news agency said Sheikh Tahnun expressed hope that the visit would be a “turning point” in Iran-UAE relations. According to the agency, Raisi received an official invitation to visit the UAE.
On Monday, the Iranian president also met with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.
The 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, between Tehran and the world powers stipulated that Iran would not enrich uranium to a level higher than 3.67%, and instead the international economic sanctions imposed on the country were lifted.
The deal was intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program and prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program does not serve military purposes. In 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, and since then Iran has intensified its nuclear development by accumulating reserves of highly enriched uranium.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE / HANDOUT