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‘No prospects for US firms in Iran’

3 January 2016 18:03


The impending removal of sanctions against Iran may mean the opening of the world’s largest economy to the world after the fall of the Soviet Union. However, the Iranian market may not be available to all investors. Some are speculating that a majority of key US businesses will stay away from Iran at least until a new president is in Washington in 2017 to determine the path of dealing with Iran.

Russian news agency Sputnik says foreign subsidiaries of US firms are permitted to transact with Iranian companies once the sanctions against Iran are lifted. It says legal, transparency and regulatory challenges pose some risk for those companies, but many still appear willing to make that gamble.

In its report titled “While Iran is Ripe for Business, US Firms Look Shut Out of the Profits”, Sputnik has emphasized that many in the US financial sector will wait to invest in Iran until after the upcoming presidential election “as the candidates state very different views on foreign commerce”.

It further emphasized that US energy companies are specifically too cautious toward the prospects for investing in Iran’s oil and gas projects, adding that investments in Iran’s energy sector by American corporations are currently a distant possibility. This, it added, is because of certain crucial concerns including security as well as any nuisance that may emerge until the two countries normalize ties.

Nevertheless, Sputnik emphasized that many others have already started a race to return to the Iranian vast market.

It has highlighted in its report an announcement by the British chancellor George Osborne that London plans to send a major delegation to Tehran to explore for the opportunities in the Iranian economy as a sign of positive prospects for investing in the country.

No date has yet been officially set on when exactly the sanctions against Iran will be lifted. Nevertheless, officials in Tehran have already emphasized that they expect this to happen within the next coming weeks.

While the removal of the nuclear-related economic sanctions against Iran will be good news for European companies, the Iranian market will still be off limits to US businesses as a series of strict sanctions devised by the Congress and the administration bar them from investing in the Iranian economy.

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