On December 14, 2020, Russia Today TV aired an Arabic-language debate about Iran-UAE relations. Former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi said that before Israel, the United States, and Saudi Arabia entered the picture, the UAE and Iran had enjoyed good relations and economic cooperation. He argued that Iran has been preserving the UAE's security, but that these foreign powers have caused the UAE to become hostile toward Iran. Mousavi also said that Iran cannot tolerate the UAE's "provocations" forever. Dr. Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, the President of the Emirates Policy Center, countered that Iran had been the one to provoke hostilities in the entire region when it started "exporting" the Islamic Revolution. She said that the UAE cannot accept Iran's attempts to control it, and that Iran cannot determine who the UAE can or can't sign agreements with.
Amir Mousavi: "The UAE does not have any problem with Iran. Before the Zionist entity came into the picture, the commercial exchange [between the UAE and Iran] reached $18 billion a year. There is a large Iranian community in the UAE, and relations that are good and calm. But unfortunately, the intervention by the Saudis, the Zionists, and the Americans, who want to establish themselves in the region and control the Strait of Hormuz, has driven the UAE to become hostile toward Iran. We hope that our brothers in the UAE will see where their sovereign interests lie, and that Iran, until now, has proven to be a loyal neighbor that protects the security of the UAE. Until now, Iran has protected the security of the UAE, and we hope this will continue. Harassing Iran will not benefit the UAE, especially if the Zionists are involved. The Emiratis might lose their security, their stability, and their prosperity, because Iran cannot tolerate this harassment forever."
Ebtesam Al-Ketbi: "When the [Iranian] revolution took place, you declared that you would export the revolution to the neighboring countries. You started the hostility. You took the Americans as hostages in the embassy and enraged America. You are the ones who started the hostility toward your neighbors, and you are the ones that intervened in their affairs. Why did the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries help Saddam Hussein? Because of your plan to export the revolution to your neighboring countries.
"You intervened in Iraq, in Lebanon, and in Syria. The Shiites are part of these countries. After all, they are Arabs. Why did you stir up sectarian strife?
"Iran cannot determine for us who we can and who we can't sign an agreement with. Your people — the Iranian people — are hungry, not the Yemeni people."