UAE’s top security envoy makes rare visit to Iran

The National Security Adviser of the United Arab Emirates met on Monday with Iran’s President in Tehran, a major visit for the country that has long viewed the Islamic Republic as its main regional threat.

The visit by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan comes as the Emirates and Saudi Arabia are both negotiating with Iran amid efforts in Vienna to save Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

The UAE, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, reached a diplomatic recognition deal last year with Israel, increasing tensions with Tehran. The UAE has long served as a lifeline to the outside world for Iran amid international sanctions.

Sheikh Tahnoon met first with Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. The two men smiled and shook hands in front of journalists before their meeting, a large map of Iran and the Persian Gulf looming behind them.

Iranian state television quoted Mr. Shamkhani as saying that “warm and friendly” relations between the countries remain a priority and that they shouldn’t be affected by other nations — likely a reference to the United States and Israel.

Sheikh Tahnoon also met President Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A statement from the presidency quoted Mr. Raisi as welcoming “improved ties with the Emirates,” including on economic issues.

“There should be no barrier in relation of the two Muslim nations of Iran and the Emirates,” Mr. Raisi said. “It should not be affected by foreigners’ dictation.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 10:25:22 PM |

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