Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are close to reaching a deal on returning three Iranian-occupied islands in the Arabian Gulf to the UAE.

Sources close to the negotiations have stated that a deal for the return of the strategic islands to the UAE was laid out during the recent visit of UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan to Tehran, and a response was presented during last week’s return visit by his Iranian counterpart, Mohammed Javad Zarif.

Theodore Karasik, director of research and development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, confirmed that the two countries are on the verge of a breakthrough. […]