Why the United Arab Emirates wants to keep both Iran and the West on side

Oil processing plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (photo: dpa)
Oil processing plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (photo: dpa)

The United Arab Emirates has for decades retained a special relationship with the international oil community, and now produces more than three per cent of the world’s oil. But in April 2012, following the EU’s ban on Iranian fuel imports, UAE oil minister, Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli, said it had no plans to divert more oil to Europe. The UAE appears determined to strike a balance between the oil needs of its Western clients and a desire to retain links with neighbouring Iran.

THE UAE, a federation of seven states, sits on the sixth largest proven oil reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq and Kuwait. The capital, Abu Dhabi, holds more than 9...

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