The relationship between Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has undergone major shifts over the past two decades. Prior to the Barack Obama administration’s (2009-17) imposition of tough nuclear sanctions on Iran, the UAE was the Iranian economy’s window to the world. Home to half a million Iranian ex-patriates, Dubai was key to trade with the Islamic Republic. In 2009, Emirati re-exports to Iran were greater than Iranian imports from China, Germany, and Russia.
But with the increasing Iran-US tension over the Iranian nuclear program, Riyadh’s 2016 severing of ties with Tehran, and the rise of Donald Trump, the Iran-UAE relationship entered a wholly different trajectory.
Ties between the two neighbors have, however, vastly improved in recent years—and appear set for a new path. To understand these shifts, and how they fit into the greater changes in the region and the world, Amwaj.media sat down with prominent Emirati academic Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla. A Professor of Political Science from the UAE, Dr. Abdulla is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at...
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