Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, has called on the international community to ease sanctions against Iran.
When asked during a BBC interview whether it was time to lift sanctions, he said, "I think so and give Iran a space... Iran is our neighbor and we don't want any problem.” He feels that "everybody will benefit" from it.
One wonders if anyone informed the learned Sheikh that sanctions against Iran in the process of being eased off. Perhaps he needs to take at the newspaper more often, being the ruler of the of a city as important as Dubai.
There have been sanctions against Iran of one sort or another ever since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The sanctions were increased in 1995 and later in 2006; UN added further penalties when Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
Over the years, sanctions have taken a serious toll on Iran's economy and its people. Until recently, Iran has been rather stubborn over its nuclear program.
It was only the current President Hassan Rouhani came to power that Tehran displayed a more cooperative attitude with the West over the nuclear programme.
Iran has been trying to ease Western fears that the program is intended for the production of nuclear weapons.
Iran and Dubai share good relations. One of the reasons Iran has managed to stay afloat and get most of the commodities despite a decade of sanctions and embargoes is because of its relations with Dubai.
So his speaking up on the sanctioned state’s behalf isn’t so surprising.
However, U.S President Barack Obama has already said the United States and other nations would begin to give Iran "modest relief" on economic sanctions as long as Iran lives up to promises of curbing its nuclear activities.
But Obama also faces pressure from the U.S. Congress to pass new sanctions on Iran as a type of "insurance policy" to push Tehran to abide by the new deal.
Obama has said he would veto the bill if Congress passes it, but also added that the United States would be ready to increase its sanctions if Iran fails to comply with the terms of the six-month deal.