"The UAE's relatively open borders and economy have won praise from advocates of expanded freedoms in the Middle East, but have also produced financial excesses, social ills such as human trafficking, and opportunity for UAE-based Iranian businesses to try to circumvent international sanctions. […] A 1994 U.S.- UAE defense cooperation agreement (DCA) provides for U.S. military use of several UAE facilities, and about 5,000 U.S. military personnel are in the UAE, located at those facilities. The UAE was the first Gulf state to order the most sophisticated missile defense system sold by the United States, demonstrating its support for U.S. efforts to assemble a regional missile defense network against Iran's missile force. The UAE has implemented significant financial and economic sanctions against Iran, but it has also maintained trade and commercial ties with Iran in part to avoid antagonizing that large neighbor and avoid the departure of the large number of Iranian businesses in UAE. This UAE-Iran trade, which includes the reexportation of U.S. products to Iran, has sometimes led to incidents of leakage of U.S. and other advanced technologies to Iran. […] The UAE is financially backing armed rebels in Syria, and it is giving substantial aid to the transitional government of Egypt that followed the military ousting of President Mohammad Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader. The UAE also donates large amounts of international humanitarian and development aid, for example for relief efforts in Somalia and for the Palestinians."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21852