US officials discuss tightening compliance with Iran sanctions during UAE trip

FILE PHOTO: Meeting of governors at IAEA headquarters in Vienna
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag is raised in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the start of a meeting of a board of governors, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS / Lisi Niesner / File photo

December 9, 2021

By Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States will send a high-level government delegation to the United Arab Emirates next week to meet with banks over concerns over Iran’s compliance with sanctions, a move A State Department spokesman said on Thursday, as nuclear talks with Iran stalled.

The move shows that Washington is seeking to increase economic pressure on Tehran amid Western doubts about Tehran’s determination to save the 2015 nuclear deal.

It also comes as the UAE, a US ally, is working to improve relations with neighboring Iran in an effort to manage tensions in the region.

The US delegation, which includes the head of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Andrea Gacki, will warn banks in the UAE that do business with Iran and are not complying with the sanctions.

A State Department spokesperson said the US had evidence of non-compliance and that banks could then be fined or fined for their transactions.

UAE authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

While the UAE shares Gulf power Saudi Arabia’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, missile program and regional proxies, Abu Dhabi has increased its outreach to Iran. Tehran and sent a senior official media-2021-12-06 to Iran last Monday.

The UAE, which has business ties with Iran spanning more than a century, said in 2018 it had fully complied with sanctions that were reimposed on Iran after then-US President Donald Trump quit. nuclear agreement.

Under the treaty, Iran agreed with major powers that it would limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international economic sanctions.

About a year after Washington reimposed sanctions, Iran began violating its nuclear restrictions. Tehran denies seeking nuclear weapons.

Negotiations are being held at in Vienna on restoring the deal but they have shown little progress.

The Wall Street Journal reported that if there is no progress in these negotiations, the US may send delegations to several other countries to tighten economic pressure on Iran.

Senior US officials are expected to discuss possible military exercises on Thursday to prepare for the worst-case scenario of destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomacy fails. failed, a senior US official told Reuters.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell and Davide Barbuscia in Dubai, Jahnavi Nidomolu in Bengaluru; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous, Kevin Liffey, Raissa Kasolowsky and Nick Macfie) US officials discuss tightening compliance with Iran sanctions during UAE trip


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