UAE may send envoy to Iran, Dr Anwar Gargash says

The comments came ahead of a visit to Paris by President Sheikh Mohamed

Dr Anwar Gargash. AP
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The UAE is working to send an ambassador to Tehran as it seeks to stabilise the region, the UAE president's diplomatic adviser said on Friday.

The idea of a confrontational approach to Iran was not something Abu Dhabi supports, Dr Anwar Gargash said.

The comments came ahead of a state visit to Paris by President Sheikh Mohamed.

They were made in a briefing by Dr Gargash, who stressed the importance of stabilising the region, and finding “common ground”.

The UAE maintains diplomatic relations with Tehran, despite disagreements on a number of regional issues.

Its climate change minister, Mariam Al Mehairi, was in Tehran earlier this week.

"Our conversation is ongoing," Reuters cited Dr Gargash as saying. "We are in the process of sending an ambassador to Tehran. All these areas of rebuilding bridges are ongoing."

Abu Dhabi still shared concerns about Iran’s regional activities but it wanted to work hard on finding diplomatic solutions, he said.

"Iran is a neighbour," Dr Gargash said. "There is no doubt that we also have a constant concern about Iranian regional policies, which we see harming Iran itself. But we also have complete conviction that the way is not confrontation, because confrontation will complicate the regional scene as a whole."

Asked about talk of an anti-Iran alliance to counter its regional activities, Dr Gargash said a Middle East NATO was a "theoretical" concept.

"The UAE is not going to be a party to any group of countries that sees confrontation as a direction, but we do have serious issues with Iran with its regional politics."

However, he said the UAE could be part of anything that protects the country from drones and missiles as long as it did not target a third country.

Dr Gargash also commented on the importance of President Sheikh Mohamed’s upcoming state visit to France, and how the two countries are coordinating on regional issues, in addition to a strong bilateral relationship.

The decision to have France as the first state visit for President Sheikh Mohamed was ”indicative of the depth of the relationship”, he said.

Updated: July 15, 2022, 1:37 PM