Rouhani touts 'brotherhood' with UAE as Iran looks to improve relations with Gulf states

Iranian president looks to reestablish commercial ties in region, blunt opposition of Gulf countries to nuclear deal.

November 29, 2013 05:45
1 minute read.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking to reporters [file].

Rouhani talking to reporters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will not allow any external threats to damage the "brotherhood" between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, Iran's Press TV quoted him as saying on Friday.

“Our friendship and brotherhood with the United Arab Emirates is such that no external factors can damage them,” Rouhani told UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a diplomatic visit. The meeting was followed by a ceremony at the UAE Embassy in Tehran, where the foreign minister raised the UAE national flag.

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The visit came after an interim agreement was signed in Geneva on Sunday, implementing strict guidelines for curbing nuclear development, and relieving financial sanctions.

In light of the agreement, Iran is able to re-establish commercial relationships with various countries, including the UAE.

Rouhani mentioned his intention to mend ties, Press TV reported, praising Iran's “close cultural and economic relations” with Abu Dhabi.

Gulf Today
reported that the EAU's Sheikh Abdullah confirmed to Rouhani that the two states are fully cooperating commercial allies. The report also said the two countries plan to meet in early 2014 to discuss investments.

Like Israel, the Gulf States have been supportive of ending Iran's nuclear program, out of fear that the country seeks to build a nuclear bomb, disturbing the entire region.

Rouhani touched on the overall atmosphere currently presiding over the Middle East, saying that Iran “favors a stable and developing region,” downplaying past accusations that they are in fact the ones who seek violence.

The UAE foreign affairs minister congratulated Rouhani on the deal signed in Geneva, saying it would positively affect the region.

Improving relations with regional countries is a central plank of Iran's diplomatic policy under Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, who will visit Kuwait and Oman next week.

Rouhani and Zarif have stressed greater regional stability as a priority, arguably an attempt to blunt the opposition of Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, to Tehran's newly minted nuclear deal with world powers.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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