The ruler of the Gulf investment and trade hub of Dubai, which has strong ties to Iran, said on Monday that the international community should lift sanctions that have been imposed on the Islamic Republic.
In November, under a new deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of some of the sanctions placed by the international community. That pact becomes official as of January 20 per an agreement made on Sunday between world powers and Iran.
Asked if he thought it was correct to lift sanctions, Dubai leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the United Arab Emirates Prime Minister as well, said he thought so and to give Iran some space. He called Iran a neighbor and did not want problems with them, adding that a lifting of the sanctions would benefit everyone.
Despite 10 years of sanctions, Iran has been able to get most of goods and commodities needed through the flourishing re-export market of Dubai, although new sanctions imposed by the U.S. and allies during 2011 and 2012 have hit the Islamic Republic very hard.
Most of the trade between Tehran and its Arab neighbors in the Gulf is re-routed through Dubai, which is home to thousands of Iranians and one of the seven emirates that makes up the United Arab Emirates.
Tehran has said its atomic energy program is just for electricity general as well as other civilian purposes, although attempts in the past by Iran to hide its sensitive nuclear activity from inspectors raised much concern.
Sheikh Mohammed stated that he believed Iran was telling the truth when they said their nuclear program was only to be use for civilian production of electricity.
Just after the deal on November 24, the foreign minister of Iran visited the UAE in an attempt to improve Tehran’s relations with one of the best allies of the U.S. in the region.
The UAE, which is across the Gulf from Tehran, would benefit if the sanctions were eased under the brokered nuclear deal that have dampened trade throughout the region.