Iran to Send Large Trade Delegation to UAE

(Reuters/Hamodia) —
iran uae
View of Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Reuters/Satish Kumar/File)

Iran will send a large trade delegation to the United Arab Emirates in February, the Tehran Times newspaper reported on Monday, a visit that would come against a backdrop of Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement launching attacks on the UAE.

The report also comes as Israeli President Isaac Herzog winds up a two-day visit to the UAE, the first time a president of Israel has made an official visit, to strengthen ties established by the Abraham Accords.

On Monday, Herzog declared, “There are only two alternatives for this region. One is peace, prosperity, cooperation, joint investments and a beautiful horizon for the people, or alternatively, what Iran is doing, which is destabilizing the region and using its proxies to employ terror. These are the two alternatives, and this visit symbolizes hope, peace, and a great future for our nations, the region, and the world at large.”

The UAE has long been one of Iran’s main links to the outside world, but the reimposition of sanctions by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 halved bilateral trade to $7 billion in 2019, according to World Bank data.

Iran’s Minister of Industry will visit the UAE with the economic delegation from Feb. 6, the English-language newspaper reported.

“During the three-day visit, Reza Fatemi-Amin will also meet with the UAE government and private sector officials to discuss economic and trade relations,” it said. “The trip has been organized in line with the Iranian government’s plans for developing economic and trade diplomacy with countries in the region, especially Iran’s southern neighbors.”

The announcement coincides with a third missile attack against the UAE by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that is fighting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which includes the UAE.

Despite Iran’s continued support to the Houthis, Tehran and Abu Dhabi have tried to abate tensions and boost bilateral trade.

In December, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s senior national security adviser, visited Iran and expressed hopes of a “turning point” in Iranian-UAE relations.

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