A U.S. official is set to hold talks in the UAE, Bahrain and Lebanon this week on sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Iran over its nuclear programme.
In a statement released to UAE’s official news agency, WAM, on Sunday, U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey said, the talks will be held “to discuss the new UN Security Council resolution last June imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Tehran” and to also “make sure, especially the new legislation passed by the U.S. (last June) with respect to the sanctions, is well understood by (U.S.) partners in the region”.
The U.S. official said to make sure “they understand the obligations and the implementation of the Security Council resolution especially in light of the implementation done by the European Union, Canada and Australia”.
This is not just a Middle East effort, according to Levy, who said “there are other teams that have been or are going to Brazil, Ecuador, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. We will be going everywhere as soon as we can because the important thing is to have a global implementation of these sanctions,” he said.
Levey’s talks will also take in attempts by Iran to seek alternative hubs and working around the sanctions with tools such as front companies, doctored wire transfers and falsifying shipping documents.
“The UAE has been sensitive to the risks posed to its reputation by Iranian activities and over time has been diligently to protect itself from that sort of illicit activity,” he said.
Levy warned that “as Iran becomes more isolated and is driven from other markets, there will be greater attempts to engage in evasive conduct and therefore simply keeping a steady vigilance is not good enough”.
“There is no question in my mind that this sort of evasion and working through front companies and sorts of similar activities will continue,” Levey said stressing the .
“need to keep identifying (these activities) and taking the action to prevent their operation”.
Levy said the U.S. government is “sensitive to the unique position (of the UAE) with respect to Iran both in terms of the historic trade ties and familial ties between the two countries” but also in terms of the challenges that are posed by the robust implementation of the Security Council resolution.
He further said that “U.S. will also continue to engage in other forms of dialogue, not just with the UAE but with other countries as well, to try and identify these risks as they come up and help everyone take counter measures”.
Among the economic difficulties Iran faces, Levey cited Iran’s inability to attract investment into their core industries (oil and gas) and the difficulties in “creating jobs for the very large cohort of young people”.