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Iran suspends trade transactions with UAE

(Xinhua)

13:33, December 21, 2011

TEHRAN, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Minister of Industry, Mines and Commerce Mehdi Ghzanfari ordered to stop trade transactions with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) late Monday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Tuesday.

Ghzanfari ordered the suspension of any kinds of trade transactions with the UAE on Monday evening, according to the report.

The report did not detail on the Iranians' move but said the decision was supposedly made due to the UAE's anti-Iran stances.

The UAE's disputes with Iran over three islands located near shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf have rumbled on for three decades. Although there is little sign of escalating into armed conflicts, both sides remain sensitive on the issue.

The islands, Abu Musa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, are controlled by Iran but claimed by the UAE with broad Arab backing. The UAE ties with Iran have been strained since Iran installed maritime offices on one of the islands in 2008.

In May, the Iranian top military commander Vice Admiral Ali Shamkhani slammed efforts by the UAE to get close to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The UAE is attempting to become the first Arab country to send an ambassador to NATO.

Talks on cooperation with NATO, both on military and diplomatic level, began in Istanbul in 2004. The UAE joined NATO's Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, which was launched at an alliance summit that year to bolster bilateral security cooperation with countries in the Middle East.

Currently, the U.S. Obama administration and its European allies are seeking assurances from major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, to increase exports to the European Union and Asian nations if tighter sanctions on Tehran's energy exports and central bank are enforced in the coming months.

 
 
 
 
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