Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has called for an end to sanctions on Iran in a rare interview with the BBC.
Asked whether he thought it was time to lift sanctions against Iran, Sheikh Mohammed said “I think so”. Sheikh Mohammed is also the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates.
“Iran is our neighbor and we don't want any problem,” he told the BBC.
Dubai is a major re-export hub for goods to Iran, with its bustling creek lined with wooden dhow boats that ferry items to the emirate’s northern neighbor.
Experts say Dubai and the wider UAE stand to benefit from an easing of sanctions on Iran.
“If there’s an opening with Iran, then that opening would have to involve Dubai,” Juan Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Al Arabiya News in December. “Dubai and the UAE are poised to benefit greatly if there’s an opening of trade and commerce with Iran.”
Iran is expected to get a relaxation of financial sanctions that have crippled its economy, under an interim agreement drawn up last November.
Officials said on Sunday that Iran has agreed to open its nuclear program to daily inspection by international experts starting from Jan. 20.
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