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UAE working to de-escalate tensions with Iran, no interest in confrontation: Gargash

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The UAE is working to de-escalate tensions with Iran in a move towards diplomacy and a step away from confrontation, Anwar Gargash, diplomatic advisor to the UAE President, said on Monday.

“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s behavior in the region, including its ongoing interference in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon,” he told the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate conference.

“Despite this, we have taken steps to deescalate tensions, as we have no interest in a confrontation. The whole region would pay the price of such a confrontation for decades to come,” Gargash added.

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The UAE, along with other Gulf countries, have long said Iran needed to stop its malign activities in the region through providing financial and military support to its network of proxy militias across the Middle East.

The Gulf countries have also condemned Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in September that Tehran and Abu Dhabi could take “big steps” in cooperation and diplomacy after meeting with UAE's Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on the sidelines of a summit in Baghdad.

“I am realistic about the chances of success. It will be a slow process. But we hope that over time we can build greater confidence between us and start to make progress towards a more sustainable and mutually beneficial status quo,” Gargash said.

“We are convinced that Iran’s own security and prosperity will be better served by ceasing its interference and working cooperatively with its neighbors,” the UAE official added.

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