Iran has announced the appointment of its ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time since 2016.
The move comes as relations between Gulf states and Iran experience a realignment. In August last year, the UAE upgraded its ties with Iran and announced the return of its ambassador to Tehran, marking a significant shift in their previously strained relations.
Back in January 2016, the UAE downgraded its relations with Iran after Saudi Arabia cut its ties with Iran. This came after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric. The animosity between Iran and Saudi Arabia had previously threatened stability and security in the Gulf, and fueled conflicts in the Middle East from Yemen to Syria.
However, in a significant breakthrough last month, Riyadh announced that it would re-establish ties with Tehran in a China-brokered deal, marking a step-change in years of hostility between the two nations. This move has the potential to reduce tensions in the region, and improve overall security and stability in the Gulf.
The UAE has a long history of business and trade ties with Iran, stretching back more than a century. The country started re-engaging with Tehran in 2019, following attacks on Gulf waters and Saudi energy sites. Iran’s newly appointed ambassador, Reza Ameri, has previously served as the director general of the Iranian expatriates office in the foreign ministry.
The UAE’s Dubai emirate has long been one of Iran’s primary links to the outside world, further highlighting the significance of these developments.