Iran president to visit Oman, UAE: report

May 10, 2022 - 18:50

TEHRAN – A Qatari-owned newspaper has reported that Iranian President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi is planning to visit Oman soon and the United Arab Emirates at a proper time.

The report came after the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday that President Raisi will pay a visit to a Persian Gulf Arab state without naming it. 

Citing Iranian sources familiar with the matter, Al Araby Al Jadeed said the Iranian president has two Persian Gulf visits on his agenda. The visits include Oman and the United Arab Emirates, according to the sources. 

The sources added that Raisi's visit to Muscat will take place "soon" in response to a previous invitation by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said. Regarding the visit to the UAE, the Iranian sources said that Raisi has received invitations to visit Abu Dhabi, but the completion of this visit is not on the table at the present time, and it will take place “at an appropriate time.”

After a visit by Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to Doha last February, the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is scheduled to visit Tehran soon, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Khatibzadeh didn’t disclose the date of the visit but the Qatari newspaper said the visit will take place on Thursday. 

Last December, the President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, sent an official invitation to President Raisi to visit the UAE, which was conveyed by the Emirati National Security Adviser, Tahnoun bin Zayed, to the Iranian President during his visit to Tehran in the same month.

The Iranian sources told Al Araby Al Jadeed that the Emirati side repeated the invitation in other meetings, some of which were secret between the two parties. However, these sources confirmed that the completion of the visit is on the Iranian president's agenda "at the appropriate time."

The sources noted, "the Iranian side is not very enthusiastic to meet them at the present time because of the strange Emirati scramble for rapprochement with the Zionist entity."

The sources, who preferred not to be identified, explained that Iran, "through special channels, not recently sent warnings to Abu Dhabi about its unusual moves to strengthen relations with the Israeli entity and the dangers of this to the region's security and stability." They expressed regret that "the UAE, for considerations that do not serve the security of the region and its issues, is taking hasty and alarming steps towards rapprochement with this entity."

In earlier December, the bespectacled UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al-Nahyan visited Tehran after weeks of speculation about the date of the visit. He first met with Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, and then Ayatollah Raisi.

The visit came against a backdrop of the Emirati push to patch up ties with one-time rivals such as Qatar, Turkey, and Iran.

Emphasis on the need to develop economic ties stood out in Sheikh Tahnoon’s meeting with Shamkhani. “Warm and friendly relations with neighbors and the exchange of economic, trade, and investment capacities are the main priorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of foreign policy,” the top Iranian security official told his Emirati counterpart.

Shamkhani added, “The countries of the Persian Gulf if they cooperate and work together, can play an important role in the regional and global economy while creating development and prosperity for their nations as an energy hub.”

Sheikh Tahnoon, for his part, welcomed the proposal to strengthen economic ties with Iran. He described the economic potential of the two countries in the fields of transit, energy, transportation, health, and investment as very broad. He added, “It is necessary to identify and eliminate the obstacles ahead by forming specialized working groups while accurately enumerating the areas of joint cooperation in various economic fields.”

During Sheikh Tahnoon’s meeting with Ayatollah Raisi, the Iranian president appeared to warn about the “sinister goals” of Israel affecting ties between Iran and the UAE. “The Zionists in the region are pursuing their sinister goals and wherever they can find a foothold, they will turn it into a tool for expansionism; therefore, regional countries should be careful,” Raisi said.

Ayatollah Raisi added, “The security of the countries of the region is intertwined and Iran supports the security of the Persian Gulf littoral states.”

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