US pressure curbs Dubai, Iranian trade ties

The US is applying growing pressure on Dubai to limit its trading ties with Iran, making it increasingly difficult for legitimate Iranian firms to operate in the Gulf emirate.

Iranian firms working in Dubai, a major trade and financial partner for the Persian state, are reporting banks and other firms are turning away their business due to the difficulties of operating within US-led sanctions on trade with Iran.

“It seems that Dubai has been under substantial pressure to limit much of this Iranian trade,” said Farhad Alavi, partner at Washington-based BHFA Law Group. “The US has made it clear to countries, banks and business that there can be a high level of reputational danger in dealing with Iran and there is also the risk of shutting yourself out of the US market or having difficulty dealing with the US market [should you continue to engage in business].”

Iran over the last five years has been the subject of tougher UN Security Council sanctions intended to curb its nuclear programme. Western nations have accused the Islamic state of developing atomic weapons but Iran has insisted it wants to produce nuclear energy.

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