Iran's FM Hossein Amirabdollahian makes rare visit to UAE to pay respects

UAE: Iran's top diplomat, Hossein Amirabdollahian visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday to pay his respects following President Khalifa bin Zayed's death, according to Iranian official media, while Tehran welcomed the Gulf state's new ruler.

Since Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement conducted a devastating strike on the UAE in January, Hossein Amirabdollahian's tour is the highest-level visit by an Iranian official to the Gulf country. While indirect talks between arch-foes Tehran and Washington to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have been stalled since March, Amirabdollahian's trip coincides with a high-ranking US delegation, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, visiting Abu Dhabi to pay tribute to President Khalifa bin Zayed, who died last week.

Following attacks on tankers in Gulf seas and Saudi oil installations in 2019, the UAE began interacting with Iran in 2019. In November, Iran's deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, stated the two countries had decided to launch a new chapter in bilateral relations.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who was formally elected president of the UAE on Saturday by the country's federal supreme council, oversaw a Middle East realignment that forged a new anti-Iran axis with Israel and opposed a rising tide of political Islam in the region.

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