UAE not seeking to ease Iran sanctions - US official

ABU DHABI Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:02am IST

Related Topics

Polluted waters of China

Polluted waters of China

Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers, and factory wastewater have degraded China's water supplies to the extent that half the nation's rivers and lakes are severely polluted.  Slideshow 

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The UAE is not seeking to ease new financial sanctions on Iran despite the pain inflicted on local firms that have seen financing for Iranian trade deals dry up, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

"There's a real recognition on our part of the special challenge that UAE faces in implementing sanctions on Iran, perhaps more so than any other country," the official, travelling with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, told reporters.

Geithner stopped over in Abu Dhabi as part of a week-long Asian trip to meet with the emirate's leader, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

Geithner expressed his thanks to the United Arab Emirates for its efforts in implementing the sanctions and heard about difficulties they have caused, the official said.

"The UAE has a long tradition of trade, of cultural exchange, of familial ties, of geography, to Iran," the official added.

New United Nations sanctions implemented over the summer to curb Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions have dramatically curbed links between Iranian banks and their foreign counterparts. This has curtailed the ability of many UAE trading firms to do business with their traditional trading partners in Iran.

While the United States has blacklisted many Iranian banks for several years, the UN sanctions prompted the European Union to blacklist some 17 Iranian institutions. Japan and South Korea made similar moves, the official said.

"The financial sector as a whole has recoiled from Iranian financial institutions which have become financial pariahs," the official added.

Separated by a narrow section of the Arabian Gulf, the UAE and Iran by various estimates did between $8 billion and $15 billion in bilateral trade in 2009.

The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that despite difficulties for individual firms, the UAE recognised the threat from a nuclear-armed Iran and does not want its firms to be used in aiding Iran's "illicit activities".

Geithner and Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mohammed also discussed the pace of economic recovery in both America and the UAE, which also suffered the bursting of a property bubble, the official said.

The U.S. Treasury chief later travelled to Singapore, where he will meet on Wednesday with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam to discuss the Group of 20 Seoul summit agenda.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Michael Roddy)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

WORLD SHOWCASE

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia.  Full Article 

'National Hero' Dead

'National Hero' Dead

Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor dies from virus.  Full Article 

Malaysia Tourism

Malaysia Tourism

Malaysia tries to parlay appeal to Muslim visitors into medical tourism push.  Full Article 

Graft Crackdown

Graft Crackdown

Exclusive: China's Xi reached deal with former leaders to investigate ex-security chief - sources.  Full Article 

Cyber Attack

Cyber Attack

Israel's 'Iron Dome' makers were hit by hackers, expert says.  Full Article 

Campus Flooding

Campus Flooding

Massive water main break floods UCLA campus.  Video 

Quality Issues

Quality Issues

In China food testing, safety inspectors are often one step behind.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage