Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has extended an official invitation to his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to visit Tehran in the near future, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported Thursday.

The Emirates News Agency also reported that Minister of State Khalifa Shaheen al-Marar received a letter of invitation addressed to President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

It said the invitation was delivered by Iran's ambassador to the UAE, Reza Ameri, without elaborating.

In April, Iran appointed an ambassador to the UAE for the first time in six years amid a rearrangement of relations between Gulf states and Iran.

The UAE downgraded diplomatic relations with Iran in 2016 after Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran.

Saudi Arabia's move came in response to the storming of its embassy in Tehran by protesters angry at Riyadh's execution of Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was convicted in a terrorism case.

Trade is more important than politics

But the Iran-UAE rifts have other roots, with the two countries feuding over the islands of Lesser Tunb, Greater Tunb, and Abu Musa.

On Wednesday, Iran announced naval exercises on the island of Abu Musa, and the Iranian navy said protecting the islands was about the country's honor.

Despite political disagreement and border disputes, economic ties between the two sides have remained strong over the past decades.

Previously published figures indicate that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted to $ 21 billion from March 2021 to March 2022.