Title: Circumvention of financial sanctions via Dubai's trade and commerce: the case of Iran

Authors: Fabian Maximilian Johannes Teichmann; Marie-Christin Falker

Addresses: Attorney-at-Law and Public Notary, Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG, Dufourstrasse 124, 9000, St. Gallen, Switzerland ' Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG, Dufourstrasse 124, 9000, St. Gallen, Switzerland

Abstract: For over 15 years, Iran has been one of the most heavily sanctioned countries due to its uranium enrichment policy. Since 2018, political tension between Iran and the West has increased significantly with Iran seemingly determined to adhere to its nuclear policy. This paper demonstrates that one main reason for the ineffectiveness of Western financial sanctions against Iranian public officials is the country's proximity to Dubai, which is used to circumvent economic and financial sanctions. To investigate the circumvention of financial sanctions via Dubai, a qualitative study with 10 presumed white-collar criminals and 18 compliance officials was conducted. Based on interviews with both groups, concrete methods for the circumvention of financial sanctions were reconstructed. The findings were tested quantitatively using a questionnaire that was distributed to 1,200 compliance officers. It was found that current financial sanctions against Iranian public officials can be circumvented relatively easily via Dubai's trade and commerce.

Keywords: financial sanctions; sanctions against Iran; Dubai; free trade zones; compliance; corruption; Dubai trade; Iran trade.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTGM.2021.118906

International Journal of Trade and Global Markets, 2021 Vol.14 No.6, pp.644 - 659

Received: 18 Jun 2020
Accepted: 01 Jul 2020

Published online: 28 Oct 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article