Dubai Ruler Calls for Easing of Iran Sanctions
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The ruler of Dubai, a Persian Gulf trade and investment hub with strong links to Iran, said in remarks broadcast on Monday that the international community should ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Under a deal struck on November 24, Iran is expected to curb its nuclear activity in exchange for easing of the international sanctions imposed on it.
Asked whether he thought it was time to lift the sanctions, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, told British broadcaster the BBC:
"I think so and give Iran a space... Iran is our neighbor and we don't want any problem," he said, adding that "everybody will benefit".
Despite a decade of sanctions, Iran has managed to get most of the commodities and goods it needs via Dubai's flourishing re-export market, although new embargoes imposed by the United States and its allies in late 2011 and early 2012 have hit it hard.
The vast majority of trade between Iran and its Persian Gulf Arab neighbors is routed through Dubai, home to tens of thousands of ethnic Iranians and one of seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates.
A deal between Iran and six major powers will come into force on January 20, the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the European Union said on Sunday.
Iran says its atomic energy program is aimed purely at electricity generation and other civilian purposes.
Shortly after the November 24 deal, Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Java Zarif went to the UAE to try and improve relations with the US ally.
Across the Persian Gulf from Iran, the UAE stands to benefit directly from any easing of sanctions under the nuclear deal that have dampened regional trade since they were imposed in late 2011.