Iran–United Arab Emirates relations
United Arab Emirates
Relations between Iran and the United Arab Emirates are deeply historic and dates back to the centuries prior to the establishment of modern-day Emirates. UAE maintains close economic ties with Iran. The UAE also has a significant Iranian community that are mostly residing in Dubai emirate; there's also an Arabic-speaking native community living in southern provinces of Iran some of whom share historical ties with the southern shores of the Persian Gulf. However, in the last decades, there has been tensions over three islands in the Persian Gulf: Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb. Both the UAE and Iran have maintained that they are trying to find a solution to this issue according to the rules of international law as for the Iran's nuclear program. Both the UAE and Iran claim to adopt the principle of not interfering in the internal affairs of each other. The UAE has officially stated that it prefers not to interfere with Iran's nuclear program as long as Iran continues to reassure the international community that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Both the UAE and Iran call for the removal from the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction.
Outstanding conflicts are:
- UAE challenges Iran's sovereignty over two islands in the Persian Gulf while Iran considers them as its inseparable parts: Lesser Tunb (called Tunb-al-Sughra in Arabic and Tonb-e-Kuchak in Persian) and Greater Tunb (called Tunb-al-Kubra in Arabic and Tonb-e-Bozorg in Persian); The island's has been in Iran's control since 1971 following the departure of British forces from the Persian Gulf and few days before UAE's declaration of independence.
- UAE has disputed Iran's sovereignty over an island in the Persian Gulf that was agreed in 1971 MoA to be jointly administered with Iran for civil matters in the southern part of the Island (called Jazirat-Abu-Musa in Arabic and Jazireh-ye-Abu-Musa in Persian). The island has been under Iranian control until 1908 when Britain gained control of the island. In the late 1960s, Britain transferred administration of the island to the British-appointed Sharjah sheikhdom, one of the seven sheikdoms that would later form the UAE. On November 30, 1971 (two days before the official establishment of UAE), Iran and Sharjah signed a MoA to jointly administrate a part of the island based on a map annexed to the MoA, allowing Iran to station military forces and Sharjah sheikhdom to maintain a limited number of police forces in the island. However, Iran has taken steps to exert unilateral control since 1992, including access restrictions and a military build-up on the island, as well as expelling the foreign workers who operated the UAE-sponsored school, medical clinic, and power-generating station;
- Iran has criticized the UAE for allowing France to develop its first permanent base in the Persian Gulf and generally considers the UAE's permission for stationing the western powers' military forces in the region as a threat to its national security.
On November 28, 2013, UAE Foreign Minister made a visit to Iran.
Iranian businesses have a major presence in the UAE. Around 8,000 Iranian traders and trading firms are registered in the UAE, according to the local Iranian Business Council. Ethnic Persians are estimated to account for roughly 10 percent of Dubai's population of 2 million. Trade between Dubai and Iran tripled to $12 billion from 2005 to 2009. UAE's exports to Iran are four times greater than its imports from Iran.
- United Arab Emirates - Foreign Relations
- "Abu Musa and The Tunbs: The Dispute That Won't Go Away, Part Two". July 28, 2001. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- Pamuk, Humeyra (15 February 2012). "MIDEAST MONEY-Sanctions sap Dubai's role as Iran trade hub". Reuters.
- "Dubai Helps Iran Evade Sanctions as Smugglers Ignore U.S. Laws". Bloomberg. 25 January 2010.