UAE Restricts Trade with Iran; Iran Retaliates But Later Backtracks
The Iranian Industry, Mines and Commerce Ministry's trade registration website deleted the entry for United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, effectively cutting trade ties with the UAE [Tabnak, 21 December]. The action caused panic among the Iranian traders who depend heavily on trans-shipments from Dubai and caused the Iranian currency rial to sharply lose its value against the US dollar.
The plummeting value of rial forced the officials to backtrack on a previous statement by the minister of Industry, Mines and Commerce that Iran had cut trade relations with the UAE. Iran’s First Vice President Reza Rahimi today issued a statement denying that Iran had cut its trade relations. The foreign ministry spokesman also told reporters in Tehran today that the elimination of UAE entry in the ministry of commerce’s website was caused by a “technical glitch” and the error has been fixed [IRNA, 21 December].
The confused actions by the Iranian officials regarding trade with the UAE came after reports surfaced that the Emirates were putting toughest measures yet on trans-shipments of goods to Iran, slowing down trade transactions significantly. Vice President Rahimi in his statement today also confirmed the restrictions put into effect by the UAE:
“The UAE has adopted some anti-Iran measures which would not harm the Islamic Republic,” Rahimi said. “And these measures are not in the interests of the UAE either.” [IRNA, 21 December].