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Senior Iranian official visits UAE on heels of Saudi deal

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A senior Iranian official visited the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, simply days after Tehran agreed to revive diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia in a Chinese language-brokered deal that raised hopes of a broader rapprochement throughout Center East.

Ali Shamkhani, the top of Iran’s Supreme Nationwide Safety Council, mentioned his go to was a “significant starting for the 2 nations to enter a brand new stage of political, financial and safety relations,” Iran’s state-run IRNA information company reported.

It mentioned he was accompanied by the top of Iran’s central financial institution and different senior officers, and held talks with Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s nationwide safety adviser. There was no quick remark from the UAE.

Sunni Arab rulers within the Persian Gulf have considered Iran with suspicion for the reason that 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled a U.S.-allied monarch in Tehran. Relations have worsened for the reason that 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, as Shiite-majority Iran has unfold its affect throughout the area and supported highly effective armed proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the Palestinian territories.

Within the Chinese language-brokered settlement, which constructed on talks held in Iraq in recent times, Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to revive diplomatic ties which have been severed in 2016, when Saudi Arabia executed a distinguished Shiite cleric and Iranian protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran.

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The deal raised hopes for a long-lasting peace in Yemen, the place Saudi Arabia has been at warfare with the Iran-aligned Houthi militia since 2015. That battle has killed tens of 1000’s of individuals and pushed the Arab world’s poorest nation to the brink of famine.

The UAE, an in depth Saudi ally that additionally intervened in Yemen, returned its ambassador to Iran final August for the primary time since 2016, as did the Gulf Arab nation of Kuwait. Dubai, a significant worldwide enterprise hub within the UAE, is residence to a big Iranian neighborhood.

Suspicions nonetheless run deep, nevertheless, particularly following a collection of assaults on oil tankers off the coast of the UAE, in addition to Saudi oil amenities, in 2019, which have been broadly blamed on Iran. Final 12 months, a drone strike launched by the Iran-backed Houthis hit Abu Dhabi, hurting the UAE’s repute as a protected harbor within the risky Center East.

The UAE was the primary of 4 Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel within the so-called Abraham Accords in 2020. The 2 nations have been drawn collectively largely due to their shared suspicions of Iran. Israel views Iran as its biggest menace, and the 2 nations have waged a shadow warfare for a number of years.

The Saudi-Iran deal raised issues in Israel, which has lengthy hoped to forge an alliance with Arab Gulf states in opposition to Tehran.



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