Iran and the UAE held a joint coast guard meeting in Tehran on Tuesday to discuss maritime matters such as fishing.
An Emirati official described the talks as a regular meeting by representatives of each country’s coast guard to discuss logistical matters.
“The meeting of the UAE Coast Guard delegation in Tehran today is a regular, routine technical meeting held every three months, the sixth of its kind, regarding fishing boats accidentally straying across the territorial waters of the two countries,” an Emirati official said.
Reuters described the discussions as “maritime security talks” and linked them to tensions in the Arabian Gulf, alleging that the UAE “wants to help calm the crisis and guard its reputation as a safe business hub.”
“This regular meeting concerns the matters of fishermen and joint or limited fishing zones that need to be decided between the two countries. We’ve noticed a few mistakes from either Emirati, Iranian or fishermen from other GCC countries,” UAE journalist Abdullah al-Mutwah told Al Arabiya.
“However, when global news agencies are stating that this is a joint meeting, and that Iran wants to send a message to the international community that regional countries are yielding to the Iranian position because of the ongoing political tensions, then this is wrong and inaccurate,” al-Mutwah said.
“Iran is looking for any gains with the media to improve its situation in the international community, which believes that Iran plays a terrorist role in threatening maritime safety either in the Strait of Hormuz or the Gulf of Oman,” he added.
According to Iran’s semi-official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), shared borders, visits by citizens of each nation, illegal entries, and maritime connections would be discussed at the meeting.
“The contradiction between the Iranian government and its official state media is obvious when IRNA reports that the meeting was a routine and regular one, whereas what’s been fed to global news agencies is the opposite,” said al-Mutwah.
“The Iranian and Qatari media are trying to exaggerate the meeting in order to gain some points with the media. Everything that is being published by these platforms about the meeting is a lie,” the Emirati official added.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that the last meeting between the UAE and Iran’s coast guards was last held on October 22, 2013. An Emirati official source confirmed that a routine meeting is held every three months.