EXCLUSIVE: UAE Foreign Minister Al Gargash on Iran’s Role in the Region

In an exclusive with Newsweek Middle East, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Al Gargash spoke about Iran’s role in the region and the necessity of Tehran changing its behavior to become constructive rather than destructive. Minister Gargash believes “it is doable” to change Iran’s role in the region as long as there is an international will to guide it towards that path, adding that “should Iran adopt” its behavior, it will reflect “positively” on regional “peace and stability.”

When asked if it is possible to bring Iran about to turn its behavior towards being more positive, given its involvement in regional conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, Gargash replied:

“I think it is essential if it is the collective will of the international community. If Iran sees that this is not the collective will of the international community, it will continue – because of its own internal rivalry – on the path that it is pursuing right now. But if there is really the will of the international community for [Iran] to play the role of a state then I think this is something that is doable and will impact positively the issues of peace and stability in the region.”

Watch the full interview below

Below is the full text of Minister Gargash’s comments:

“I think changing Iran’s behavior in the region is essential in the coming year. I think Iran should be a constructive player in the region in the coming period and we do not really see many of these signs. I think dealing with Iran has to take into account its intervention in the affairs of various countries in the region, which actually contributes to the instability in this region. And I think its essential as we move forward that this is recognized and this is also monitored. It is extremely important in parallel with the nuclear deal that the idea that the nuclear deal is playing a part in checking Iran’s nuclear ambitions has to also be married to policies that ensure that Iran is also not a negative player in the region. I think this is essential and essential for the outlook as we move forward into the coming year.”


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