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Iran appoints first UAE ambassador since 2016 as Gulf relations improve

Iran said on Tuesday that it had appointed an ambassador to the United Arab Emirates for the first time since 2016, as Gulf states and Iran’s relations shifted.

The move comes after the UAE upgraded ties and announced the return of its ambassador to Tehran in August.

After Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in January 2016, after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, the UAE downgraded relations with Iran.

In a dramatic shift from years of hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which had threatened Gulf stability and security and fueled conflicts from Yemen to Syria, Riyadh announced last month that it would re-establish relations with Tehran in a deal brokered by China.

The UAE, which has had business and trade ties with Iran for over a century, began re-engaging with Tehran in 2019 following attacks in Gulf waters and on Saudi energy sites.

The emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has long been one of Iran’s main points of contact with the outside world.

According to Iranian state media, Iran’s newly appointed ambassador Reza Ameri previously worked as the director general of the Iranian expatriate’s office in the foreign ministry.

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