UAE releases $700 million in frozen Iranian funds ‘in return for security’
Lawmaker Akbar Torki told the news agency that the funds had been released amid improving 'currency relations' between the two states.
“UAE's currency relations with Iran have improved and some Iranian exchange offices in Dubai have resumed activity,” Torki was quoted as saying.
"Emiratis have also understood that Western countries and Saudi Arabia cannot provide the country with security in current circumstances," he added.
Toirki also suggested that the release of the funds was in exchange for security cooperation or assistance from Iran.
“UAE is introducing itself as the Middle East’s Switzerland but trade, banking, energy, and aviation of this country depends on security and it knows that it cannot prosper without security,” he said.
Torki's remarks follow that of Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, who told a reporters on Monday that diplomatic relations between Abu Dhabi and Tehran have warmed.
"There have been communications between Iran and the UAE in recent months," Rouhani said during a press conference.
"Some UAE officials came to Iran and some Iranian officials went there. Relations between Tehran and the UAE have been better in recent months, and the trend is towards better relations."
Iran is currently in the grip of punishing US sanctions which were imposed since the Trump administration's withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
The sanctions on Iran that have kept it from selling its oil abroad and have crippled its economy.
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