UAE’s Gargash calls Middle East NATO a "theoretical" concept

UAE top advisor: Abu Dhabi plans to send ambassador to Tehran

July 15, 2022 - 21:36

TEHRAN — The UAE is planning to send an ambassador to Tehran in order to repair relations with Iran, according to the president's diplomatic adviser, who also stated that a confrontational attitude toward Iran was not something Abu Dhabi supported.

The UAE has been attempting to strike a balance between superpower ally Washington, new friend Israel, and old rival Iran in order to minimize regional tensions that could jeopardize the state's economic goals while also strengthening the Persian Gulf state's military capabilities, Reuters reported. 

The UAE began direct discussions with Iran in 2019. Its minister for climate change was in Tehran earlier this week.

"Our conversation is ongoing ... we are in the process of sending an ambassador to Tehran. All these areas of rebuilding bridges are ongoing," Anwar Gargash told reporters ahead of a visit to Paris by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden and the Israeli regime’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a unified vow to deny what they call Iran’s nuclear weapons, demonstrating solidarity among partners long divided over talks with Tehran.

The announcement comes a day after Biden suggested he was willing to use war as a "last resort" against Iran, as efforts to resurrect a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and international powers have stagnated.

When asked about discussions of a Middle East NATO to counter Tehran, Gargash replied it was a "theoretical" concept and that conflict was not an option for Abu Dhabi.

"We are open to cooperation, but not cooperation targeting any other country in the region and I specifically mention Iran," he said. "The UAE is not going to be a party to any group of countries that sees confrontation as a direction, but we do have serious issues with Iran with its regional politics."

However, he stated that the UAE would be willing to participate in any effort to safeguard the country from drones and missiles as long as it did not target a third country.

"We have an open eye. We are very clear if something is defending the UAE and its civilians, of course we are open to these ideas, but not to the idea of creating any axes against this or that country," he said.


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