DUBAI, Jan 31 (Reuters) – 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 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 added.
“The trip has been organised in line with the Iranian government’s plans for developing economic and trade diplomacy with countries in the region, especially Iran’s southern neighbours.”
The UAE government did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the report.
The announcement coincides with a third missile attack against the UAE by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement which is fighting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which includes the UAE. read more
In spite of 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.