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Iran, UAE Stress Dialogue As Only Way To End Tensions In The Region

A handout photographer released by the British Ministry of Defence on September 28, 2019 shows the UAE-flagged Offshore Support Vessel Mubarak Spirit (R) sailing in front of British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero after its release by Iran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi says his country believes "political negotiation is the only solution to the region's problems," and that Tehran will do its best to make that possible.

Mousavi made the remark on Wednesday November 13 in response to a statement by a United Arab Emirates official who has called for reducing tensions in the region.

Mousavi's remarks came one day after an Iranian deputy foreign minister said Iranian officials have had meetings with their UAE counterparts.

The United Arab Emirates' State Minister For Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash called on Iran on November 10 to help reduce tensions in the region in a bid to revive its national economy and its international trade and start negotiations with world powers and regional countries.

Meanwhile, Gargash said in a speech in Abu Dhabi that escalation of tensions in the region is in no one's interest, adding that "We still believe that there is a chance for successful collective diplomacy."

Tensions in the Persian Gulf region escalated after several oil tankers in UAE waters and an oil installation in Eastern Saudi Arabia were attacked. Regional and Western counties subsequently blamed Iran for the attacks.

Responding to the UAE official, the Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman said, "Iran has always stressed on the significance of political dialogue as the only way out of regional problems and will do all within its power to make that possible."

He said Iran's suggestions for "regional dialogues," signing a "non-aggression treaty," and Rouhani's Hormuz Peace Plan which he offered during the UN General Assembly meetings were part of such efforts.

On Tuesday, Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi told Russian Sputnik news agency's Arabic website that Iran has suggested "regional dialogue" to put an end to crises, but Saudi Arabia has not responded to the idea.

However, he said that there was a better chance for reaching to an understanding with UAE officials.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Ambassador to the UAE, John Rakolta told AP on Monday that the United States and the UAE have differences over the way Iran should be confronted. However, he said the two sides share views on the "continuation of Maximum Pressure" on Iran.

Rakolta added that Washington is closely cooperating with the UAE to convince Iran that the only way to end current problems is a political solution and there is no room for violence in today's world."

In the meantime, differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia have escalated in recent years while the two sides have been fighting a proxy war in Yemen and indirectly confronting one another elsewhere.

Infographic: Strait Of Hormuz Shipping Lanes
Infographic: Strait Of Hormuz Shipping Lanes

Saudi Arabia has recently condemned the reduction in Iran's nuclear moves and called it political "deceit." Riyadh says it is worried about the Iranian nuclear program's military implications and has vowed to go after nuclear weapons if Iran becomes a nuclear-armed power.

However, Iran has always ruled out any intention to develop nuclear weapons.