x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

US officials to push Iran sanctions during visits

Meetings to take place across region with officials visiting both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

WASHINGTON // US officials heading to the Gulf this week are expected to highlight their efforts to impose stiffer economic sanctions on Iran and counter its influence across the broader region. In the UAE, Neal Wolin, the deputy Treasury secretary, will split his time between the capital and Dubai. His meetings are likely to focus on Iran and measures enacted by the US Treasury to target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. He will also sit down with Dubai's economic leadership, which is navigating a US$22 billion (Dh80.8bn) debt restructuring with international and domestic banks.

The US is seeking a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran. Iranian traders in Dubai, an important economic partner of the Islamic republic, believe a tightening of sanctions would harm their businesses. Mr Wolin is expected to talk about US-backed efforts to combat "illicit finance" in the region, the Treasury said. In addition, Mr Wolin will meet Sultan al Suwaidi, the Governor of the Central Bank, and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the Minister of Foreign Trade, and ministry officials. He will also have meetings at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, the Treasury said.

In Dubai, he has meetings scheduled with Mohammed Abdullah al Gargawi, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Emirates Airline and head of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee. @Email:sstanek@thenational.ae Focus on Iran, b6