Iranian, UAE Officials Meet for 1st Time in 6 Years ‘To Discuss Maritime Security Amid an Increase in Tensions in the Persian Gulf’

  • Iranian and UAE officials met for the first time in six years in Tehran “to discuss maritime security amid an increase in tensions in the Persian Gulf, both countries confirmed Wednesday.”
  • The UAE enjoys a close relationship with Iran’s top rival, Saudi Arabia, which signifies the importance of the meeting.
  • In 2016, the UAE had pulled back from its relationship with Iran since “Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s seat of power, has long pushed for more hawkish U.S. policies toward Iran, including supporting tough American sanctions.”
  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also been engaged in a war against Yemeni rebels who are linked to Iran since 2015.
  • Recently, the UAE has withdrawn thousands of troops from Yemen to increase its security at home.
  • Hostile, escalating incidents over the past several months “in the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial oil shipping corridor, and fears of a wider conflict have prompted the UAE to call for de-escalation and diplomacy with Iran.”
  • According to an Emirati official, “the Iran-UAE meeting focused on issues related to border security and navigation in shared waters, describing the talks as nothing new and unrelated to current tensions.”
  • There have been several tanker seizures off the coast of the UAE in May, which the U.S. and other countries have blamed on Iran, but Iran has denied involvement.
  • Additionally, the relationship between Iran and the U.S. has continued to deteriorate, causing the U.S. to increase its military presence in the Gulf region.
  • The U.S. has called on its allies to join it in increasing pressure against Iran, but on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas spoke to reporters and confirmed that Germany “would not be participating in a proposed U.S.-led mission to protect maritime traffic in the Persian Gulf area.”
  • The Trump administration has insisted that its policies, including withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposing fresh sanctions against Iran, are targeted at “changing Iran’s behavior in the region, not its government.”

Reference Links

  • AP: UAE and Iran hold rare talks in Tehran on maritime security READ
  • The Independent: In rare meeting between Iran and Gulf rival, some see signs of possible harmony READ
  • The National: UAE stands with initiatives that secure stability in Strait of Hormuz, Dr Anwar Gargash says READ
  • TRT World: What’s behind the UAE-Iran maritime talks? READ

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