Iran names envoy to UAE after nearly eight-year absence as ties thaw

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TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has named an ambassador to the United Arab Emirates nearly eight years after the departure of its predecessor, as relations with the Arab Gulf states thaw.

“After about eight years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has named Reza Ameri as the new ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Arab Emirates,” Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported late Tuesday.

The move comes after Iran welcomed an Emirati ambassador last September, ending a six-year absence.

The UAE had cut the level of its diplomatic representation after neighboring Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters who were furious over the closure of Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.

After some of its Gulf allies led the way, Riyadh restored diplomatic relations with Tehran last month thanks to a fence-mending deal brokered by Beijing. Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran are regional rivals.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has accepted an invitation to Riyadh from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber confirmed on Monday.

Iran and the United Arab Emirates have long enjoyed close economic ties that continued even during the diplomatic cold snap.

A veteran diplomat who most recently served as Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Diaspora Affairs, Ameri’s career has previously taken him to Algeria, Sudan and Eritrea.

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