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As US seeks Iran nuclear deal, Iranian traders load up on Cheerios, Heinz ketchup

The sanctions aimed at pushing Tehran to accept an Iran nuclear deal have kept Iranian traders in Dubai on their toes. But they say it's US businesses that are most affected.

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As US and European leaders fine-tune a new offer for Iran nuclear talks, Iranian traders are busy figuring out how to circumvent the sanctions Western powers hoped would push Iran toward a nuclear deal.

One of Iran's main trade routes runs through the emirate of Dubai, which has tripled its trade with Tehran in the past five years. Today, the United Arab Emirates is Iran’s top source of imports – far outweighing even China, its next-biggest trading partner.

While much of the commercial trade flows through the Jebel Ali Free Zone, everyday necessities are loaded onto small ships known as kashtis along Dubai’s Deira Creek.

On a recent sunny afternoon, hundreds of piles of miscellaneous goods stood along the creek. Everything from Cheerios, Heinz ketchup, and soy sauce to mattresses, car tires, and automotive parts could be found among the stacks, along with the odd piece of furniture or box of toys.

For several years now, Iranians have had to find ways to acquire their basic everyday necessities, but a fourth round of United Nations sanctions announced in June – followed by separate sanctions from the US and Europe – are more stringent than prior measures.


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