Iranian consumers get Western goods despite US ban

Western reports said the US ban did not prevent citizens of Iran from acquiring Western goods from luxury perfumes to modern technology equipment and computers reaching Tehran markets from international markets.

“We are the Amazon of Iran,” a ship captain in the UAE port of Sharjah, which transports goods destined for Iran, told the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, referring to the giant American company Amazon, which specializes in delivering goods to consumers around the world. “Business is thriving,” he added.

Data from the Iranian Customs Authority indicates that trade between the UAE and Iran continues to flourish despite the US embargo and US Treasury warnings to Emirati companies about sanctions, and some of them were actually subject to financial sanctions last June .

According to official figures released by Iranian customs, the volume of trade exchanges between Iran and the UAE during the last Iranian year, from 21 March 2021 to 21 March 2022, amounted to $ 21 billion and 400 million, and the UAE was first on the ranglys. among neighboring countries in the export of goods to Iran.The value of which is 16 billion and 500 million dollars. It was also third in the destination of Iranian exports, with a value of 4 billion and 900 million dollars.
This high volume of Iranian trade with the Gulf state is close to the record trade volume between the two countries reached in 2011, which amounts to $ 24.2 billion.
And earlier this week, Iranian Customs spokesman Ruhollah Latifi announced that Iran’s non-oil trade with neighboring countries registered $ 12.364 billion during the period from March 21 to June 20, 2022, with a growth of 18 percent on an annual basis.
Tehran is betting on greater trade growth between the two countries, as the head of the Iran-Emirati Joint Chamber of Commerce, Irfan Shakeri, predicted last February that the annual bilateral trade exchange between the two countries would end at $ 20 billion by the end of the current financial year on 20 March.
The Iranian news agency, “Fars”, quoted Irfan Shakeri as saying that “the trade process between Iran and the UAE is gradually growing, and in the first nine months of the current financial year, the period from 21 March to 20 December 2021, It is recorded about $ 15 billion, “noting that Dat” the volume of trade exchanges at one point reached $ 40 billion. “

Trade brokers in the UAE make huge profits from transactions that sell cheap Iranian oil and petrochemical consignments to traders in China and India by hiding the sources of the consignments.
According to Iranian economist Esfandiar Batmankhalidi, Iran exports more than one million barrels a day to China. India’s traders also buy large petrochemical shipments. The expert, Batmankhaledi, points out in an analysis of the “Boursa and Bazaar” bulletin, which specializes in Iranian financial and economic affairs, that the European embargo on Russian oil has increased price competition between Iranian and Russian raw materials in China’s markets, since companies from the two countries are looking for marketing outlets and giving big discounts to get-buyers.
In the same vein, Adel Hamiza, an expert at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, says the Emirati cleverly balances the balance between maintaining their relations with the United States and their commercial interests with Iran. “They balance their security issues with their business relationships,” he added. Officials responsible for implementing the U.S. embargo at the U.S. Treasury visited the UAE last December, warning that Emirati companies would be subject to U.S. sanctions for violating U.S. embargo laws against Iran.
In turn, Brian A. Nelson, deputy secretary of terrorism and financial intelligence, said last month that “the United States will continue to impose embargo laws on Tehran to curb Iran’s petrochemical exports, as long as there is no agreement in the nuclear talks. . “In turn, Tehran does not deny the prosperity of petrochemical trade despite the US embargo.
In this regard, the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, Mehdi Safari, says that “the Iranian petrochemical industry was under embargo, but we continue to export.” The U.S. Treasury has approved 4 Emirati companies on charges of violating the ban on petrochemical trade.
According to an analysis in the Wall Street Journal, Emirati companies are exploiting several loopholes to develop their trade with Iran, including the loopholes offered by internet eCommercials trading, and they are also using it to make a blind eye to ships. bringing commercial goods to Iran from the UAE.

In the field of IT and technology trade, a report by the Wall Street Journal indicates that Western computer and technology products reach Iran via the UAE, but Western companies and their agents in the Gulf countries do not know how to reach Iran. The report also indicates that the e-commerce sites owned by Iran offer products from Western and Japanese companies, imported from South Korea, and use various marketing powers to transfer them to the Iranian market via the UAE.
And on the method of accessing banned goods to the Iranian market, the US newspaper report says that Western technology products are supplied to Iran and other banned goods usually by commercial ships between Emirati and Iranian ports, where the captain of the ships of Iranian nationalities operating in the Emirates live, place the Emirati flag on the commercial ships without announcing their cargo to the UAE customs in the territorial waters, and when they depart and reach Iranian waters, they hoist the Iranian flag and announce their goods.
Analysts believe that the trade in information technology and the internet makes it difficult to implement a strict ban as in the past, especially on petrochemicals and fuel products in conditions of high inflation that put world economies and countries and companies in Asia and the countries under pressure. of the world are looking for cheap products that they can get from the banned countries.
The US ban list expands at a time when living conditions are stressing countries, and the list currently includes Iran, Russia, Venezuela and South Korea.

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