The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is working to send an ambassador to Tehran as it seeks to rebuild bridges with Iran, Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the Emirati President, said on July 15.
Gargash added that the idea of a confrontational approach to the issues related to Iran was not something that Abu Dhabi supported.
“Our conversation is ongoing … we are in the process of sending an ambassador to Tehran. All these areas of rebuilding bridges are ongoing,” the senior diplomat told reporters ahead of a visit to Paris by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
According to Gargash, Abu Dhabi still shares concerns about Iran’s regional activities but it wanted to work hard on finding diplomatic solutions.
When asked about talk of an anti-Iran Israeli-Arab alliance, Gargash said a Middle East NATO was a “theoretical” concept. He added that a confrontation with Tehran was not an option for Abu Dhabi.
“The UAE is not going to be a party to any group of countries that see confrontation as a direction, but we do have serious issues with Iran with its regional politics,” Gargash said, noting that UAE could be part of anything that protects the country from drones and missiles as long as it did not target a third country.
The UAE resumed diplomatic engagement with Iran in 2019 following a series of attacks that targeted oil tankers sailing near its waters.
The surprise announcement by Gargash comes as US President Biden undertakes his first tour in the Middle East. During his first stop in Israel, Biden and Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a security pact reinforcing their common front against Iran.
Despite being a close ally of the US, the UAE is trying to take a neutral stand when it comes to Iran. Recently, the UAE denied attending a secret Israeli-Arab meeting meant to coordinate against Tehran.