UAE-Israel Normalization Targeting Iran Trade
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – A member of board of directors of Confederation of Iranian Industry says normalization of the UAE’s ties with Israel means that Iran should change policy of transit of goods and trade from the UAE to other countries because this route is now getting risky and dangerous.
Speaking to ILNA, Mehdi Karimi Tafreshi talked about recent developments in the region, especially in the UAE and normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel.
He said despite protests from Palestinian groups and leaders, since the normalization of UAE and Israel, both countries have so far signed several agreements. He said Israeli media have claimed that after these agreements, Israel’s current $300m exports to the UAE will bounce and become hundreds of millions of dollars.
Tafreshi said that UAE is one of the oil-rich countries and one of the major investors in the Middle East and it is also one of the most advanced trade centers in the world, adding that for this reason, Israelis are keen to increase its trade with this country with an eye on boosting its trade in the Persian Gulf market.
He said according to estimates, some 300 Israeli companies are active in the UAE whose activities are through international companies and normalization of ties will actually reduce the heavy costs of those Israeli companies which are active through international companies.
Tafreshi reiterated that UAE rulers and officials are keen to boost their role in the region due to competition with Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and intend to replace Saudi Arabia as major actor in the region. He said Israelis are aware of it and want Arab countries to help them in advancing their goals, noting that Israel with this agreement essentially has targeted Iran while the Emiratis are pursuing other goals and this issue may overshadow the UAE’s ties with other Islamic partners.
He said Israel by normalization of ties with the UAE can change its source of providing energy and for this reason Turkey had negative reaction to the normalization.
Tafreshi added that during the sanctions, Iran decided to shift its transit focus from the UAE to other countries and development of Chabahar Port was put on its agenda. He said Iran should take this point seriously and it should shift its transit focus from the UAE to other countries as soon as possible before the UAE is fully dominated by Israelis.
He noted that in recent years some Iranian traders have shifted from the UAE to Qatar, Oman and Turkey and it seems it more traders do it in the upcoming years.
Tafreshi noted that the UAE is one of the important trade partners of Iran and it seems the main goal of normalization has been to target Iran’s economic advantages and so Iran should gradually reduce its trade dependence on the UAE and should use other options like developing Chabahar Port as new replacement.