January 29, 2019
The United Arab Emirates has adopted an “unacceptable approach” toward Iranian businesses operating in this Gulf Arab state, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Zarif as saying on Monday the UAE “has entered an unacceptable stage of approach toward Iran”.
The FM was speaking during a parliamentary session when he was asked about the conditions of Iranian traders and money-changers in UAE after US newly-imposed sanctions.
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has approved alternative solutions in response to UAE’s methods in dealing with Iranian traders and money-changers, indicating that aside from usual diplomatic measures, Tehran is looking for a necessary course of action for the economic relations.
Despite “extensive economic relations” between the two countries, Zarif indicated that the Gulf federation has had made “strategic and political mistakes, particularly over Yemen.”
The FM was hinting at UAE’s support for the internationally-recognized Yemeni government in the country’s ongoing civil war, while Iran supported Houthis.
AP reported that many Iranian UAE-based Iranian businesses have moved to Qatar and Oman in recent years. UAE was Iran’s top exporter for decades, and in 2018, it became the second biggest exporter after China.
In May, US Treasury imposed sanctions on an exchange network it said had ties to Iran’s elite military force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The Treasury announced that the penalties targeted those who had funneled millions of dollars to the group, funding its “malign activity”.
“The Iranian regime and its central bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire US dollars to fund the (IRGC’s) malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups,” the Treasury said in a statement.
The Department announced that it intended on cutting off IRGC revenue streams wherever their source and whatever their destination.