Iran and the United Arab Emirates The two countries agreed on Tuesday to cooperate more on aviation matters, Iranian state media reported.
Iranian Civil Aviation Organization spokesman Jafar Yazarloo said they had signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation. Their specific goal is to increase the number of flights between Iran and the UAE and to increase the number of flights passing through Iranian airspace, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
The UAE embassy in Washington did not respond to Al-Monitor’s request for comment.
Why it matters: Despite being on opposite sides in some regional rivalries, the UAE and Iran share friendly economic and political ties. The Tehran Times reported at the time that from March to July 2022, Iran exported non-oil products worth more than $2.2 billion to the UAE, making the Gulf country Iran’s third-largest export destination during the period.
Total Iranian exports to the UAE in 2021 are close to $362 million. The UAE exported nearly $6.6 billion to Iran that year, according to Trading Economics.
The two countries have cooperated in many fields. Last July, the UAE and Iran’s environment ministries discussed joint cooperation in combating dust storms.
The UAE announced last August that its ambassador would resume duties in Iran after a six-year absence, AFP reported at the time.
Most recently, a delegation from the Iranian Border Guard visited the UAE in February, according to the official Emirates News Agency.
Meanwhile, the UAE has close ties with Iran’s arch-enemy Israel following the Abraham Accords and the normalization of relations in 2021. Iran and the UAE are particularly at odds over Yemen’s civil war. Iran backs Houthi rebels in Yemen, while the UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition supporting the government. Last year, Houthi drones hit three oil tankers in Abu Dhabi.
Estimates vary, but around 500,000 Iranians live in the UAE.
Iran-UAE airspace deal decided especially in Oman in February Airspace opened to Israeli flights. This comes after Saudi Arabia also opens its airspace to Israeli aircraft in 2022.
learn more: UAE is involved Violation of Iran Sanctions in the past. In November, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned an Emirati company involved in energy deals with the Islamic Republic.