UAE calls on Iran to hold talks with world powers and Gulf states

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Iran must sit down at the negotiating table with world powers and Gulf states to reach a new deal that will ease rising regional tension and revive its economy, a senior UAE official said on Sunday.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash news
File Reuters

Tensions have surged in the Gulf since attacks on oil tankers in the vital waterway of global shipping this summer, including off the coast of the UAE and a major attack on two Saudi oil facilities.

Washington has blamed the attacks on Iran, which denies involvement.

Iran said on Thursday it had resumed uranium enrichment at the Fordow facility, further reducing its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after the United States withdrew.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in a speech in Abu Dhabi that further escalation at that stage did not serve anyone, noting that his country believed there was room for diplomacy to succeed.

Gargash warned of a “false” choice between war and a flawed nuclear agreement.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran and then tightened them since its withdrawal from the deal as part of a campaign of “extreme pressure” on Tehran.

Gargash said new talks with Iran should not only address the nuclear dossier but also address concerns about the ballistic missile program and regional intervention through groups working for Iran by proxy.

Gargash said during the sixth Abu Dhabi Strategic Forum that the discussion of these files means that the countries of the region need to participate.

The United Arab Emirates, which sees Iran as a destabilizing force in the region, has backed US President Donald Trump’s extreme pressure campaign with Tehran but has called for a reduction in escalation after the attacks.

Gargash said he believed there was a possible way to reach an agreement with Iran that all sides might be willing to follow, but suggested the road would be long enough to require patience and courage.

He added that it is important for the international community to agree on one position, especially the United States, the European Union and the countries of the region.

Washington says sanctions aimed at halting all of Iran’s oil exports will force it to negotiate a broader deal.

But Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned Iranian officials from holding talks unless the United States returns to the nuclear deal and liftes all sanctions against Tehran.

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