The UAE has implemented U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran while toughening its stance on how the international community should deal with Tehran. In an e-mail interview, Mehran Kamrava, interim dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar and director of the Center for International and Regional Studies, discusses recent developments in Iran-UAE relations.
WPR: What is the current state of Iran-UAE diplomatic relations?
Mehran Kamrava: Iran-UAE relations have always been characterized by a mixture of diplomatic tensions and yet increasing commercial ties due to the vibrant Iranian community in Dubai. The tension has resulted from two principal developments. First, there has long been a dispute between the two countries over three Persian Gulf islands -- Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs -- which are claimed by both countries but are currently under Iranian control. Secondly, the UAE, similar to other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, has placed itself under the protection of the American security umbrella, and, due largely to the islands' issue, has been more weary of Iranian military intentions in the Persian Gulf as compared to some of the other GCC members.