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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates announced Sunday that its ties with Iran are being upgraded after reducing relations six years ago.

UAE Ambassador to Iran, Saif Mohammed Al Za’abi, is set to return to Tehran in the “coming days,” the Emirati government said.

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Abu Dhabi and Iran have had trade and business relations for more than a century.

The UAE downgraded its diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 after Saudi Arabia cut its relations with Tehran in the wake of an attack on the Saudi Embassy in the Iranian capital by local protesters.

The violence was ignited by the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in Riyadh.

The UAE foreign ministry said in its statement that its move to re-establish ties comes in sync with the effort to “achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region.”

Saudi Arabia has led the way in this as well: last year Riyadh began talks to re-establish ties with Tehran, shortly after the United States and other world powers began negotiations to revive the moribund 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal.

Gulf nations are carefully monitoring the negotiations over the nuclear deal, which they – like Israel – believe is inadequate as it does not include brakes on Iran’s missile program or effectively address Tehran’s nuclear development activities.

The United States and the European Union (EU) are currently studying Iran’s “written response” to the “final proposal” by the EU to salvage the nuclear deal after 16 months of talks.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.