technology to Iran, under the Iran-Syria Non-Proliferation Act (P.L. 106-178). In June 2006, the
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposing a license requirement on U.S. exports to Mayrow
transshipped devices used to construct improvised explosive devices (IED) in Iraq and
In January 2009, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a report entitled
published January 12, 2009. The report
asserted that Iran has used UAE companies to obtain technology from U.S. suppliers, and that the
components obtained have been used to construct improvised explosive devices (IEDs) shipped
by Iran to militants in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other UAE companies the report alleges were
involved in this network included not only Mayrow but also Majidco Micro Electronics, Micatic
General Trading, and Talinx Electronics.
The UAE has responded when U.S. officials have threatened to sanction the UAE for lax export
control enforcement. In February 2007 the Administration threatened to create a new category of
be re-exportation of controlled technology to Iran and other countries forbidden from receiving
such U.S. goods. A June 2010 Iran sanctions law, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions,
Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA, P.L. 111-195) that formally authorizes countries to
be designated as Destinations of Diversion Control and subjected to sanctions. That law appear
directed against the UAE, but it has to date avoided that designation because of some of its
actions to strengthen its export control regime. In September 2007, the FNC adopted a law
strengthening export controls, and UAE authorities immediately used that law to shut down 40
foreign and UAE firms allegedly involved in dual use exports to Iran and other countries. In July
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Vann Van
Nonproliferation and Trade that the UAE had augmented the staff of the office that implements
the 2007 law. He added that the UAE
intelligence services—are functioning to that end.
impounded shipments to Iran of items that Iran purportedly sought for use in its nuclear program.
The issue of leakage of technology has sometimes caused U.S. criticism or questioning of UAE
investment deals. In December 2008, some Members of Congress called for a review by the
Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) of a proposed joint
venture between Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Co. of Abu
Dhabi for the potential for technology transfers. In February 2006, CFIUS approved the takeover
company of a British firm that manages six U.S. port
facilities. Members of Congress, concerned that the takeover might weaken U.S. port security,
opposed it in P.L. 109-234, causing the company to divest assets involved in U.S. port operations
(divestment completed in late 2006 to AIG Global Investments). Little opposition was expressed
in the United States to a November 2007 investment of $7.5 billion by the Abu Dhabi Investment
Authority (ADIA) in Citigroup, which was then troubled by the global financial crisis.
The UAE announced in 2008 that it would acquire its first nuclear power reactors to satisfy
projected increases in domestic electricity demand.
agreement on January 15, 2009, to help the UAE develop its nuclear power program. Some in
Congress expressed concerns about the potential for leakage of technology to Iran as well as the
potential for regional proliferation of nuclear technology.
s needs while posing no proliferation potential whatsoever. The UAE
committed to refrain from domestic uranium enrichment and from reprocessing spent nuclear
reactor fuel—both processes could produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. The
International Atomic Energy Agency announced December 14, 2011, that a group of experts had a
and provided suggestions to the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, the UAE
nuclear regulatory authority.
apparently ensure the project can only be for peaceful purposes, the Obama Administration signed
an agreement for the United States to assist the program, subject to conditions specified in
Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 [42 U.S.C. 2153(b)], on May 21, 2009 (and
submitted to Congress that day). Several congressional resolutions approving the agreement
S.J.Res. 18 and H.J.Res. 60) were introduced, as was one disapproving (H.J.Res. 55). No
measure blocking the agreement was enacted within 90 days of the submission of the agreement
A number of U.S. and European firms have secured administrative and financial advisory
contracts with the program. In January 2010, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC),
the institution that is administering the program, announced that it had chosen the Korea Electric
Power Corporation (KEPCO of South Korea) to construct the first of four APR1400 nuclear
reactors that would sell electricity to the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. The first
plant is expected to start operating in 2017 and the other three are scheduled to be completed and
operational by 2020.
with Saudi Arabia.
According to the government, by 2021 the agency is to launch an unmanned spaceship
from the Arabian peninsula that will probe Mars.
The UAE, a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has developed a free market
high-technology, luxurious, and futuristic projects that provide jobs and attract tourism and
publicity. The UAE also is participating in Gulf-wide economic infrastructure projects such as a
railroad network connecting all the GCC states, to become operational by 2017.
The UAE economy was affected significantly by the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, which
caused widespread layoffs and the departure of thousands of foreign workers, and left UAE banks
with vast amounts of nonperforming loans.
regional investors, such as those in Afghanistan, who bought into high-end housing such as on the
Palm Islands. The fall in value caused a collapse of a major Afghan bank, Kabul Bank, in
September 2010. To address the crisis, the federal government took on some public debt and drew
to inject money into Dubai banks. By the end of 2011, the
s worst economic problems were behind it.