January 14, 2018

ONE SIDE IS CHEATING ON THE DEAL:

Business leaders are hopeful for rebounds in Iranian economy despite uncertainty from US (Agence France-Presse, January 14, 2018)

The real problem in Iran right now, everyone in the international business community agrees, is uncertainty. 

That was not helped by Trump's announcement on Friday that he would waive nuclear-related sanctions, but only once more and that Europe must work with Washington to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

"No one has any idea what's going on. Trump has introduced so many layers of uncertainty," a Western trade official in Tehran said on condition of anonymity.  "That's not necessarily negative. Things could actually improve if Trump pulls out of the deal. The Europeans could stay and the EU could provide protections for its industries against US sanctions."

"Or things could get even worse. We just don't know," he said.

On the surface, Trump's vitriolic stance appears disastrous for the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which lifted many sanctions in exchange for curbs to the country's nuclear program. 

Even as he confirmed the waiver of nuclear sanctions on Friday, Trump added yet more sanctions related to human rights and Iran's missile program, adding to a vast web of restrictions that have scared off many Western companies.

Major foreign banks have been particularly cautious of re-entering Iran, dreading a repeat of the record-breaking $8.9 billion penalty leveled on France's BNP Paribas for breaching US sanctions on Iran and other countries. 

There seems little hope of hitting the government target of $50 billion in foreign investment per year, with the government saying less than  $3.4 billion was achieved in 2016. 

Posted by at January 14, 2018 3:58 PM

  

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