Iran open for business: foreign investors given green light

Iran open for business: foreign investors given green light
Four western powers and the European Union have given foreign investors and banks the green light to conduct business with Iran.
2 min read
Iranian officials hoped the lifting of sanctions would generate business [AFP]
Foreign investors should not hold back from conducting legal business with Iran, Western powers said on Friday, after Iranian officials complained the US had yet to deliver its side of the nuclear deal.

International banks and businesses were encouraged to begin laying the frameworks for setting up businesses in the Islamic Republic, said the European Union, the United States, France, Britain and Germany in a joint statement.

"We will not stand in the way of permitted business activity with Iran," the powers said.

"And we will not stand in the way of international firms or financial institutions engaging with Iran, as long as they follow all applicable laws," the statement added.

An historic nuclear deal signed under the Obama administration last year allowed the relief of some sanctions on Iran in return for a halt to its nuclear programme.

But despite the end of some sanctions, European banks have remained cautious to step in, fearing prosecution in the United States.

But the recent statement by the western parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) gave business the green light.

"The interest of European and other global firms in Iran is high," the statement said.

"And it is in our interest and the interest of the international community to ensure that the JCPOA works for all participants, including by delivering benefit to the Iranian people," it continued.

"This includes the reengagement of European banks and businesses in Iran."

The Obama administration has been criticised by Republicans at home for what they describe as a hasty move, allowing Iran to return to the international fold after agreeing to nuclear controls.

But Tehran has complained that the US oversold dreams of a sanctions-free Iran, arguing that they upheld their end of the bargain in surrendering most of their nuclear enrichment capacity in return for sanctions relief.

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