The United Arab Emirates announced recently that it intends to strictly enforce United Nations sanctions against Iran – a potentially significant move, since the UAE is one of Iran’s biggest trading partners and serves as a key conduit for nuclear and missile components that are supposed to be barred to Tehran under UN Security Council sanctions.
The UAE, and particularly the emirate of Dubai, is a major base for straw companies that smuggle banned components to Iran. Many of these companies are controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards or its senior officers.
Any company found to have ties with the Revolutionary Guards or any other organization or individual specified in the four UN sanctions resolutions, will be shut down immediately, the officials said, as will any company found supplying Iran with banned dual-use items.
The decision apparently stems from heavy American pressure on the emirates. If carried out, it greatly increases the likelihood that the new round of sanctions approved by the Security Council this month will be more effective than previous ones at impeding Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.
Some 400,000 Iranians live and work in the UAE. Many of them are businessmen, and of these, many serve as fronts for the regime in Tehran. Annual trade between Iran and the UAE comes to about $10 billion a year, most of which is in imports to Iran.