US-Israel Declaration 'Symbolic', Economic Consequences On Iran Grim
U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint pledge on Thursday to deny Iran nuclear arms.
Biden outlined a series of strategic commitments underpinning the US relationship with Israel - its closest regional ally - in a document known as the Jerusalem US-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration, on his first visit to Israel as president.
Political stakeholders say that Iran is unlikely to take any 'military action' seriously, but the economic consequences in the wake of the U.S. sanctions would hurt the Islamic nation, costing it billions of dollars.
In a report published on Arabian Gulf Business Insight (AGBI), Alex Vatanka, director of the Iran Programme at the Washington DC-based Middle East Institute (MEI) said that US-Israel ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ could impact UAE-Iran trade.
"UAE is one of Iran’s largest trading partners. Currently Iran is doing a brisk trade with the UAE, the Middle East, China and parts of Europe as the US sanctions are not globally mandated or inspected,"
“In case of countries such as the UAE, enforcement of more sanctions could cause businesses to drop Iranian business,” Vatanka stated, as reported by AGBI.
However, international relations experts are seeing this as relatively symbolic than action. After the meeting between Biden and Lapid concluded, the Israeli prime minister told reporters that the two had “discussed the Iranian threat”.
The UAE has traditionally been one of Iran’s main links to the outside world, but the reinstation of sanctions by Trump in 2018 halved bilateral trade to $7 billion in 2019 according to World Bank data.
Non-oil trade between Abu Dhabi and Tehran in the first nine months of 2021 stood at about $4.9 billion, the UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre reports.
In February more than 120 Iranian companies and 40 firms from the Emirates participated in a UAE-Iran trade conference in Dubai, the AGBI report stated.
Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday on his first tour of the region since taking office in 2021. Arriving on Air Force One at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Biden was warmly greeted by Israeli officials and in a speech, described the US’s connection with the country as “bone-deep”.