A senior US delegation is headed to the UAE next week to warn the Gulf country against not complying with US sanctions by doing business with Iran, a State Department spokesperson said Thursday, according to Reuters.
The trip comes amid renewed negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal and shows the US wants to ramp up the pressure on the Islamic Republic, a sign that Washington is not serious about restoring the JCPOA.
The State Department spokesperson said the US has evidence that some UAE banks are not in “compliance” with US sanctions by doing business with Iran. The US delegation, which will be led by the head of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Andrea Gacki, will warn the banks that if the business with Iran continues, they will be hit with sanctions.
On Monday, the UAE’s national security advisor visited Iran in a sign of warming ties. The US will likely discourage Abu Dhabi from a rapprochement with Tehran as it could hinder Washington’s pressure campaign against Iran. Israel is also unhappy about the UAE’s dialogue with Iran.
An Israeli official told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the UAE’s warming ties with Iran is “worrying” and “not acceptable.” Israel normalized relations with the UAE last year, and a significant aspect of the deal was to further isolate Iran in the region. Israel is hoping to form an anti-Iran military alliance in the Middle East with the UAE and other Gulf countries.