Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool via REUTERS

Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, on Wednesday discussed the crisis in Yemen with his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed in a phone conversation, Reuters reported, citing the Iranian IRNA news agency.

During the call, they discussed bilateral and regional issues and reiterated the importance of improving ties, the report said.

Amir-Abdollahian also reportedly said that "the Zionist regime's presence is a threat to the regional security."

The conversation follows several attacks on the UAE by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, the latest of which occurred on Sunday, when the Houthis fired a ballistic missile toward the UAE during the visit of President Isaac Herzog.

Before Sunday’s missile attack on the UAE, the Houthis attacked three oil tankers near Abu Dhabi. The January 17 attack killed three people and wounded six at an Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. fuel depot near Al-Dhafra.

It has long been believed that Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Iran denies it is backing the Houthis and has also denied Saudi Arabian accusations that Tehran provided the Houthi rebels in Yemen with ballistic capabilities.

The UAE has sought rapprochement with Iran in recent months. One report indicated that a high-level delegation from the UAE would visit Tehran and seek to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.