Iran So Far Away

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

– Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II (sometimes wrongly attributed to Sun Tzu)

Iran has come up as a subject of conversation a number of times over the last few days.  After a breakfast talk by the UAE’s Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, a friend posed this provocative question:

Would the UAE freeze Iranian accounts as a sanction to prevent their acquisition of nuclear weapons?

Remember that the UAE is geographically very close to Iran.  The Cowboy’s take was as follows:

My guess is that the UAE would be too afraid to freeze their accounts . . . Further, the major components of the UAE’s drive for diversification include financial services, tourism and real estate.  I don’t think they want to make all of those Russian oligarchs and Kazakh oil barons worried about their investments.

And finally, Iran is a major source of ongoing investment in the UAE.  It’s a strange symbiotic relationship.  If Iran were more open, there would be less of a need for wealthy Iranians to put their funds in the emirates.  My guess is that their dream would be to keep things in Iran as they were prior to the elections.  Of course, as a devoted free market capitalist, I think long term the entire region, including the UAE, would benefit economically from a more open Iran.

Here’s a relevant piece from the Emirates Tribune a few days ago.  A recent realist’s view of the diplomatic situation is here.  And finally, here’s an interesting dialogue between Steve Clemons and David Frum:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Cowboy spent a week with Steve a number of years ago when we were both selected as “Young Leaders” for a great conference to promote international dialogue and cooperation.  The Cowboy links to his blog, The Washington Note, under “Occasional” to the right.

Well, history is long and the world is small.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 16:03  Leave a Comment  
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