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Iranian traders in Dubai feel pressure of new sanctions

(Xinhua)

15:18, February 10, 2012

DUBAI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Iranian companies doing business in Dubai, a gateway for the Iranian market to international goods, increasingly feel the heat from economic sanctions Western powers have imposed against their country because of Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

Trade between Dubai and Iran, which surged to 10 billion U. S. dollars in 2010, was feared to be squeezed this year as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Central Bank has ordered its banks to stop funding trade finance with Iran, in order to comply with U. S. sanctions.

On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama decided in an executive order to freeze all assets and interests of the Iranian government, the Islamic Republic's lender of last resort, and all Iranian banks within the U.S.

The Abu Dhabi-based daily The National recently cited Morteza Masoumzadeh, vice president of Iranian Business Council (IBC) in Dubai, that "even for rice shipments Dubai's banks stopped to issue letters of credit."

The devaluation of the Iranian currency, the riyal, also puts a burden on some 8,000 Iranian-owned businesses in Dubai.

Ahmed, a captain of an Iranian wood-ship, who lives of shipping imported clothes and textiles from Dubai's Port Saeed to Iran's port city Busher described how maritime traders suffer.

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