South Korea and Iran have summoned each other’s ambassadors in a diplomatic dispute triggered by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol

describing Tehran as the “enemy” of the United Arab Emirates and comparable to the threat posed by North Korea.

While visiting South Korean special forces stationed in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Yoon described the UAE as a “brother nation” of South Korea tied by growing economic and military cooperation.

Yoon then compared the threat UAE supposedly faces from Iran to the threat South Korea faces from nuclear-armed North Korea.

Yoon’s remarks triggered a stiff response from Iran’s foreign ministry, which said it was investigating Yoon’s “interfering statements”.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister on legal affairs, Reza Najafi, summoned the South Korean ambassador on Wednesday to protest against Yoon’s remarks, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said.

Najafi also accused Seoul of pursuing an “unfriendly approach” towards Iran, and noted the issue of Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks.