UAE Sees Opportunity for Better Iran-Arab Ties

UAE Sees Opportunity for Better Iran-Arab Ties  UAE Sees Opportunity for Better Iran-Arab Ties

A senior United Arab Emirates official said on Sunday the re-election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani could be a chance for Tehran to reset "its troubled relations" with its neighbors.

Relations between Persian Gulf Arab states, including the UAE, have been strained over allegations that Tehran was interfering in their affairs and fomenting unrest and sectarian tensions in the region. Tehran denies these charges.

Rouhani beat his main challenger, conservative cleric Ebrahim Raeisi, in the presidential election on Friday, garnering more than 57% of the vote.

It was not immediately clear if the comments by UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash reflected any change in Arab states' views of Iran.

In a tweet about Rouhani's election victory, Gargash said: "With President Rouhani's re-election, one hopes Iran reset its troubled relations with neighbors. Let Tehran not squander another opportunity," Reuters reported.

US President Donald Trump's criticism of Tehran was well received at a summit of Arab and Islamic leaders with him in Riyadh on Sunday.

On Saturday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, at a news conference with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in Riyadh, said Iran's presidential election was an internal matter. "We want to see deeds, not words" from Iran, he said.

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, an ally of Saudi Arabia, congratulated Rouhani on his re-election.

The UAE, a regional trading and tourism hub, is a main trading partner with Iran. The Persian Gulf Arab state last year downgraded ties with Tehran after Saudi Arabia severed ties with Tehran after demonstrators angry at the execution of a Shia Muslim cleric in the kingdom attacked Saudi missions in Tehran and Mashhad.


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