Atlanta, United States (CNN)– The permanent representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations told CNN anchor Becky Anderson, that the UAE will continue the path of de-escalation with Iran despite the increasing attacks by the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthis on the Gulf state .
The Houthis have used ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones to attack the UAE twice in the past week. The UAE government said one of the attacks killed three people.
In a 2021 report, the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen reported to the Security Council that Iran was providing the Houthis with “large quantities of weapons and components.”
The UAE, which says it seeks de-escalation in the region, has made a number of initiatives to Iran, including sending a high-level delegation last month and receiving Iranian diplomatic officials.
“Over the past year or two, we have focused heavily on the path of de-escalation in the region, on reducing tension and reaching out to the various players and partners in the region,” said Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s representative to the United Nations.
Nusseibeh added, “We will continue the path of de-escalation and diplomacy, but at the same time … we reserve the right to fully defend ourselves, defensively and offensively in the region.”
The UAE was elected to a seat on the Security Council last year and is pressing for the Houthis to be reclassified as a US foreign terrorist organization.
Nusseibeh also said they still need more support from the United States to intercept the missiles.
In response to questions about the Saudi-led coalition attacks that killed more than 80 people in Saada and Hodeidah and led to internet blackouts in Yemen, Nusseibeh said investigations must be carried out to hold the real people accountable.
And on ending the war in Yemen: “This is the ultimate goal of our military engagement today. It is to defend ourselves and increase pressure on them, to sit down at the political negotiating table.”
“We reserve the right to fully defend ourselves both defensively and offensively in the region, because that is the commitment we make as a government to keep our population of eight million or so from the various 192 member states of the United Nations safe,” she added.