Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- The vice chairman of the Iranian Local Trade Council in Dubai has asserted that no company member of the council operating in the United Arab Emirates [UAE] has reported being shut down by the UAE authorities as was reported in the press yesterday and pointed out that if an Iranian company was closed and we did not hear about it then it certainly is not a council member.
Press reports had cited an official UAE source as saying that the authorities closed more than 40 companies which violated the international sanctions imposed on Iran by selling sensitive products that could be used for the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. This was considered UAE restraint on the companies suspected of helping Iran circumvent the sanctions imposed on it.
Masum Zadeh, the vice chairman of the Iranian Local Trade Council in the UAE, said: “We have not been informed by any council member of the closure of any Iranian economic activity. The press reports were the only source from which we learned about the closure of 40 companies.” But he did not deny at the same time the possibility of such closures saying they could concern companies which are not council members. He added in his statement to Asharq Al-Awsat: “There are 8,000 companies operating in the UAE registered as Iranian ones. They are either owned by Iranians or are partners in them. Not all these companies are council members.”
Press reports said the 40 companies that were closed were local and international ones and “involved in the proliferation of dangerous and dual use materials that are banned under the UN resolutions and the Nonproliferation Treaty.” The same reports also said “the UAE is committed to its duties toward the international efforts to limit the proliferation of nuclear armament” and would close any company “which proves to have connections with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards or any person or entity included in the UN sanctions.”
Zadeh told Asharq Al-Awsat: “I have more than 30 years experience dealing with the Emirates people and we always dealt in friendship and in a legal and clear way.” He added: “If the UAE authorities did in fact close Iranian companies, then there must be a reason, a very strong reason for this closure.”