Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has downplayed the challenges to a boost in ties between Tehran and Abu Dhabi, saying that the mutual relations will serve the interests of Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

The Islamic Republic is a secure neighbor for the regional countries including the UAE, said Salehi in a meeting with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Tehran .

He added that the growing relations between Iran and the UAE demonstrated the resolve of the two countries’ officials to strengthen the amicable ties.

The Iranian minister also urged enhanced bilateral cooperation in all fields and the continuation of exchanges of visits.

Al Nahyan expressed his country’s determination to expand ties with Iran, saying Abu Dhabi will make all efforts to remove any obstacles in the way of enhanced relations.

The meeting came after the UAE’s deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, Khalid al-Ghaith, announced on Wednesday that the US has targeted Noor Islamic Bank in the UAE over its business dealings with Iran as part of Washington’s efforts to press banks around the world to end transactions with Tehran.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program, using this as a pretext to impose sanctions against Iran.

Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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