Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has raised concern over the expulsion of Iranian nationals from the UAE, urging Abu Dhabi to reconsider the move.

In a Thursday telephone conversation with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al - Nahyan, the top Iranian diplomat discussed the situation of Iranian nationals living in the Persian Gulf littoral state.

Both sides also discussed key regional and international developments as well as issues of mutual concern, including the situation in Egypt.

They also underlined the need to further consolidate and expand bilateral ties.

According to a report published by ISNA on July 6, over the recent months the UAE has revoked the residency permits of dozens of Iranians, some of whom had lived in the country for as long as 25 years, and forced them to leave the Arab country without providing any reason.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi said a day after the report was published that the Ministry and the Iranian Embassy in Abu Dhabi were seriously following up on the case.

He said a number of foreign nationals had been expelled from the UAE following a decision by the Emirati Interior Ministry to apply some changes to the Persian Gulf state’s population of foreign nationals.

Araqchi added that the situation of Iranian nationals living in the Arab state would be discussed during the Iran - UAE Joint Consular Committee meeting scheduled to be held after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Vahid Ahmadi, a senior Iranian legislator, has also criticized Abu Dhabi over the move, saying the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Majlis would carry out an investigation into the matter.

In a meeting with UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in April, Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad - Najjar had also criticized the UAE’s expulsion of Iranians from Dubai.

He said that the move would not have a good impact on bilateral relations between the two countries.