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Sanctions against Iran: United Arab Emirates change tactics against Tehran

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) no longer wants to appear as the falcon of the Arabian Gulf. Fearing a conflagration of the region, the theater of a war of nerves between Iran and the pro-American camp, the federation of seven principalities, led by the Abu Dhabi's emarate, has sent since the end of June several signs of appeasement in the direction of Tehran.

The most recent one, on July 30, consisted of a meeting on Iranian soil between the head of the Coast Guards miratis and his counterpart in the Islamic Republic. During this meeting, the first of its kind in six years, the two men discussed cooperation and maritime security, a particularly sensitive topic at a time when sabotage and boardings of tankers are multiplying in the Gulf.

At the end of June, questioned about the four damaged ships a few weeks earlier off Foujeyra, one of the UAE's state-owned states, the minister of foreign affairs wondered Abdallah Ben Zayed, had carefully refrained from criminalizing Iran, unlike his two main allies, the United States and Saudi Arabia, who formally accused Teh © ran.

Notable diplomatic inflection

Abu Dhabi also announced at the beginning of July the withdrawal of part of its forces deployed in Yemen, where since 2015 they have been fighting against the Houthi, a pro-Iranian rebellion within the country. ™ a coalition led by Riyadh. These successive moves are aimed at lowering the tension in the Gulf, reaching a level of concern for the UAE, which is afraid of being the target of Iranian strikes in the event of conflict. "The UAE is doing everything it can to show that if a war breaks out, it will not be their fault."assures Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, an enlightened political scientist.

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From a state that former US Defense Secretary James Mattis called in 2014 "Little Sparta" because of his growing militarism, the diplomatic inflection is notable. This development was fueled in part by Washington's lack of reaction to the destruction of one of its drones, on June 20, by the Iranian Air Defense. "We were expecting a riposte and Trump was back. What good is this escalation if the United States is not behind us? AT", asks the university student.

The new erratic posture for the moment appears to be more a change of tactics than of politics. Abu Dhabi remains a strong supporter of  «maximum pressure » of the Trump administration, based on crippling sanctions, which Iran interprets as a de facto economic war. "It is wise that the UAE continues to comply with the sanctions while pushing for the escalation, says Abdulkhaleq Abdulla. There is no contradiction there. AT" Not sure that the Iranian power shares this point of view.

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