Unprecedented in Recent History, Iran Minister Attends Talk by Israeli Minister

Breaking with tradition, Iranian energy minister Hamid Chitchiyan remained present throughout talk delivered by Silvan Shalom in Abu Dhabi.

A talk given by Israel's Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom in Abu Dhabi earlier this week was attended by none other than his Iranian counterpart Hamid Chitchiyan, Meir Javedanfar, an expert on Iran at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya pointed out on his blog.

Iranian Energy Minister Chitchiyan was the senior Iranian diplomat on the Islamic republic's delegation to the conference of IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) in the United Arab Emirates.

Chitchiyan, a former intelligence official, is a member of Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s cabinet. He also served in Iran's Energy Ministry – as deputy minister- during the first term of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Over the past decade no serving Iranian minister has publicly sat through a conference speech given by an Israeli minister.

Shalom's participation in the conference marked the first time Israel has sent a minister to a meeting of IRENA since the organization's founding in 2009.