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UAE freezes accounts of nine Iranian individuals and entities

Abu Dhabi placed the nine on its list of ‘terrorists’ for suspected connections with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority has ordered companies to identify and freeze the accounts and assets of nine Iranian individuals and entities the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has placed on its list of entities and individuals it identifies as terrorists and terrorist organisations, according to national news agency WAM.

In May, the country placed the nine on the list for suspected connections with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards after the United States did the same.

Relations between the UAE and Iran have been tense over a wide range of regional issues, including Iran’s nuclear programme, the war in Yemen, the Syrian civil war, as well as the two countries’ dispute over islands of Abu Musa and the two Tunbs.

The UAE supported US President Donald Trump’sdecision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and Washington’s demand that Iran make widespread changes in its foreign policy or face economic sanctions.

“Uniting (our) efforts is the correct path for Iran to realize the futility of its incursions and expansionism,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on his official Twitter account in May, several hours after a policy speech on Iran by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“The Pompeo strategy requires wisdom and a change of the Iranian compass,” Gargash added.

Production increase possible

Separately, state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company said on Tuesday that it could raise oil production capacity by “hundreds of thousands of barrels per day” to meet shortages if required.

The company remains on track to increase its production capacity from 3.3 million barrels a day to 3.5 million barrels by the end of 2018, it was quoted as saying by local media.

The UAE’s statement was the latest of the remarks to follow Trump’s demand for lower global energy prices and increased supplies in the market.

Iran had been warning the other members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) not to act unilaterally over the issue.

The UAE, an American-allied federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula, hosts some 5,000 US troops. Dubai also is the US Navy’s busiest port of call abroad.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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