End Iran sanctions, says Dubai ruler

Sheikh Mohammed says “everyone will benefit” from lifting economic sanctions against Tehran

Emirati Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum. (AFP/Getty Images)

Emirati Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum. (AFP/Getty Images)

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has urged the international community to lift economic sanctions against Iran.

“Iran is our neighbour and we don’t want any problems,” Sheikh Mohammed, who is also vice president and prime minister of the UAE, said in a televised interview with BBC News.

An agreement to relieve sanctions was struck in November between Iran and six world powers, including the US, China, Russia and Britain, and is set to come into effect on January 20. The accord will see the Islamic Republic curb parts of its nuclear programme in exchange for access to $4.2bn in foreign exchange and some relief from sanctions on gold, petrochemicals and vehicles.

The deal is intended to lay the foundation for a broader deal between Iran and world powers over the status of its disputed nuclear programme, which Iran insists is for civilian energy purposes, but is widely believed by the international community to be weaponised.

The UAE and Iran remain major trading partners, despite overall trade between the two, excluding oil, falling from AED12.3bn ($3.35bn) between January and June 2012 to AED10.8bn in the same period last year as sanctions took their toll.

However, the two countries remain locked in a territorial dispute over the ownership of three Gulf islands, which are currently occupied by the Tehran government.

Sheikh Mohammed said though that wider relief from sanctions would mean “everyone will benefit”.

He also urged Israel and Palestinian authorities to push on with peace negotiations, which resumed in July last year following a three-year halt. US secretary of state John Kerry has visited the region ten times in the last year or so in order to establish a framework on guidelines for a future peace accord.

“After the peace process, we’d do everything with Israel, we will trade with them, we will welcome them and everything,” Sheikh Mohammed told BBC News. “But sign the peace process.”

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Posted by: James Charlton

Iran always cries "wolf" and can never be trusted. Iran is rightly called the most active state sponsor and banker of terrorism. There is overwhelming evidence that Iran supports terrorists in the Middle East and in its neighboring countries. No sympathies whatsoever for Iran who has been crippled, humbled and humiliated by the disciplinary sanctions.

Posted by: Monkey Tennis

"Who backed Saddam in war against Iran????? Can you answer that?" Yes I can actually. The answer would be, just about everyone except Syria. Pretty much everyone else who matters piled in behind the Iraqis or sold arms to both sides; Saudi and the Gulf countries were its main financial backers and with this money the Iraqis bought arms from the West and the Russians. The Iranian situation was very different then and the gulf countries had good reasons for their support - its largely irrelevant to the current situation.

Posted by: Telcoguy

@James, one quick question. Who bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killingn 91 people, 28 of them British and some 10 of them high-ranking government officers?

And you can also try to check who was bobby trapping the bodies of murdered British soldiers at the time

I always find the displays of selective memory quite entertaining, but of all people British should know better about the roots of the conflict here

Posted by: Mark X

@James, What a load of Rubbish !!!!!. You must be getting your information from the Bush or Blair press. Read comments by Lone Star, which are very true - Who backed Saddam in war against Iran????? Can you answer that?

Posted by: Lone Star

Iran went through a massive popular revolution, whose main principles were freedom and independence. People turned to the revolution that was ultimately dominated by the clerics because they wanted to put an end to foreign interference in their domestic affairs and to two centuries of foreign domination that had humiliated a proud and ancient nation. Although many people have been disaffected with the religious aspects of the revolution, nevertheless, the principles of freedom, independence and ending foreign interference in Iran are still very strong in the minds of the Iranians, and this is why they are prepared to put up with a great deal of hardship in order to defend those principles.

Sanctions on Iraq did not do much to change the status quo and only crippled a nation that was eventually invaded and we know what a disaster that turned out to be. Oh wait, who was backing Saddam in his war against Iran? It is the same people who are blaming Iran for not trusting them.

Posted by: Bangkok Ron

This is a very sensible suggestion by Sheikh Mohammed and it shows his big picture Helicopter view of the region and its situation. The article also says that UAE and Iran are in dispute over three islands but he has not let this get in his way of thinking about the big picture. I hope that some other leaders and their people take this view on board.

Posted by: turk

I wish all the Middle East region leaders can be like HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al Maktoum. This just proves once again how forward thinking and reconciliatory is his approach in leadership and in bringing his country forward into the new age. I wish him all the best and may God grant wisdom to all the leaders in the ME and follow HH Sheikh Mohammed in his bid for peace in the region.

Posted by: H. Dadlani

It is one of the Best suggestion/s that HH Sheikh Mohammed has mentioned about Iran.

A million thanks to you , your Highness.

Live together , Live in Happiness and Harmony is the quote of the day.

Posted by: Riaz Rizvi

I wish all other middle east countries, especially Saudis, join UAE in urging the international community to end the economic sanctions against Iran. Enough is enough.

Posted by: Chatelmaster

To Procan and supporters of Western troops in the Middle East. Yes we need them to clean up the mess in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. Ooops who put that mess? So why not in Syria? They have done a great job at winning a war and losing the peace for the region. Where are the famous WMD of Saddam and now the nuclear sof Iran? Why not looking at the nuke arsenal of Israel ? That one is real. Right guys,t Iran has a past of conquerors and invaders. Darius in 670 BC ruled the vast Persian Empire and took over lands from Egypt to India. 300 years later the Greeks took over Persia then 200 years later the Romans, then in 630 by the Islamic conquest, 300 years later the Turks, followed around year 12oo by the Mongols. Few centuries after the Persians finally regained control over their territories but the discovery of oil in 1908 by the British in Khuzestan spawned intense renewed interest in Persia by the British Empire trying to make a protectorate. Iran dangerous or in danger?

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