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Iranian, UAE Tension Looms Over Trade

Iranian, UAE Tension Looms Over Trade

Tuesday, 18 August, 2020 - 08:45
Workers load goods onto a dhow bound for Iran along the creek in old Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 2, 2020 (Reuters)

Iranian experts and traders are concerned that the tensions between Iran and the UAE could affect the mutual trade relations, at a time when Tehran is facing an economic crisis due to the impact of sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran condemned the recent UAE-Israeli peace treaty, and President Hasan Rouhani gave a strongly worded statement denouncing the agreement.

In response, the Emirati foreign ministry summoned Iran's charge d'affaires in Abu Dhabi and gave him a memo saying Rouhani’s speech was “unacceptable,” warning that it could have serious repercussions for the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf region.

However, Iranian economic and foreign experts ruled out the possibility that the UAE would change its relations with Iran after the peace treaty with Israel, according to the Iranian Ilna Agency.

The chairman of Iran-UAE Joint Chamber of Commerce, Farshid Farzanegan, told the agency that despite economic problems and the spread of the coronavirus, the UAE was the only country to which Iran’s exports increased.

Farzanegan announced that Iran’s exports to the UAE increased by 16 percent in the first four months of the Iranian year that starts on March 21.

He noted that economic relations must be separate from political issues, noting that due to sanctions, Tehran does not have many options for trade, and Turkey and the UAE are two countries where Iranian traders have maintained their activities.

“Iran’s exports to the UAE were $4.5 billion and our imports from this country were $8.9 billion, in other words, the volume of trade between the two countries is $13.4 billion.”

He then pointed to the major imported and exported goods between both countries, saying that till last year, petrochemical and mineral materials as well as industrial products and machinery have been the major exports to the UAE.

The chairman also noted that Iranian agro products are highly important exports for traders.

Farzanegan also pointed out that there is currently no problem regarding forex shops in the UAE and money transactions are done much faster than other countries in the Persian Gulf, including Oman.

He noted that the UAE is not the only vital vein for money arriving into the country but the country is definitely a gateway for it. He explained that all re-exports and re-imports are done through the UAE because it is a regional hub for imports and exports.

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