Photo credit: CodePink
On 9 December, Reuters news agency revealed that the US government is considering going after some banks in the United Arab Emirates over what it claims to be their lack of compliance with its sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
According to the report, a delegation of senior officials from the US state department and treasury is expected to travel to Dubai next week to meet with heads of financial institutions in the emirate.
The report notes that the US state department alleges that it is in possession of evidence that shows that some UAE banks that conduct business with Tehran have been violating US sanctions. The US has not, however, revealed the names of the banks involved or how exactly they violated sanctions.
The move comes as Tehran and five world powers that are signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal continue with their negotiations to restore the deal that collapsed after then president, Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and imposed a wide range of punitive measures against Iran.
The talks taking place in the Austrian capital, Vienna, are yet to record any significant progress. This failure has been attributed to the refusal of the US government to consider Iran’s demand to have sanctions against it lifted. The position of the US is believed to have been influenced by Israel.
Tel Aviv has repeatedly claimed that Tehran intends to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran, however, maintains that it has no intention of using its nuclear program to produce a weapon.
Benny Gantz, the minister in charge of Israel’s military affairs arrived in the US on 9 December to meet with senior Pentagon officials. The two sides are reportedly set to discuss the possibility of launching a military attack on Iran ”if dialogue fails.”
The US government move against UAE banks also coincides with the recent improvement of relations between Abu Dhabi and Tehran. Earlier this week, Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the national security advisor of the UAE, visited Iran.