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UAE freezes four Iranian bank accounts – paper

The seven-member UAE federation has been under pressure to monitor commercial relations with Iran.

September 7, 2010 12:37 by

The United Arab Emirates’ central bank has frozen four Iranian bank accounts cited in a United Nations Security Council blacklist after uncovering their presence in the UAE banking system, a paper said on Tuesday.

A U.N. resolution of June 9 names 40 entities and one individual on a blacklist of firms whose assets worldwide are to be frozen for assisting Iran’s nuclear or missile programmes.

“We asked the 51 banks operating in the country to step up scrutiny on the accounts and the related names and to search for names on the Security Council list, and we found four bank accounts only,” the al-Ittihad daily quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The newspaper’s source said the amount of money involved was not significant and did not name the banks concerned. A central bank official was not available for comment.

The seven-member UAE federation, a U.S. ally with a large expatriate Iranian population mainly in Dubai, has been under pressure to monitor commercial relations with Iran. On Monday, the central bank directed banks to provide more frequent details of remittances to Iran. This was part of a series of studies on the economic impact of the U.N. sanctions, a circular sent to banks said.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) froze accounts of Perisa International in August after the bank was added to the EU’s list of sanctions.

The UAE has tried to walk a fine line to avoid both alienating its key trade partner and damaging relations with Washington. But it has said it would abide by all U.N. Security resolutions against the Islamic republic.

Last year, Dubai’s re-exports to Iran — goods originally coming from Europe, Asia or elsewhere and then sold on to Iran — rose 4.8 percent to 21.3 billion dirhams ($5.8 billion).

(Reporting by Martina Fuchs, Editing by Andrew Hammond and Stephen Nisbet)

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