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Iran, Inc., Now Open for Business

February 1, 2016
Plain English Version
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) attends a meeting with French leaders following the lifting of sanctions. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) attends a meeting with French leaders following the lifting of sanctions. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images.

“Follow the money” is a phrase that you may hear a great deal. It means if you want to know why something is happening, see who is making money from it.

Western countries and China lifted sanctions on Iran. The lifting made business people happy. Iran now has billions of dollars of new money. Iranians are shopping for everything, ranging from planes to trucks. The president of Iran is going shopping in Italy. The Italians have covered nude statues in a museum. Seeing nudes would have offended the Iranian president.

One great need is to restore the Iranian oil fields and pipelines. Iran needs oil sales to make itself a player again in world business. The current low price of oil makes investment risky.

A lot of the money needed for deals goes through U.S. banks. It is not as simple as it sounds. America still imposes sanctions. American banks still cannot do business with Iran. American companies are not ready to invest in Iran. Experts warn that politics and laws in may make the country a minefield for safe investment.

Religious leaders, the Revolutionary Guard and politicians have different goals. The youth of Iran is pressing for consumer goods. They are very western in their tastes.

Will Iran use some of the money for terrorist groups? Will it use the money to support the regime in Syria?

Other questions have to do with American politics. Republicans say they want to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Democrats support it.

There you have it. Nuclear weapons, money and politics. All are involved. Keep an eye on Iran.

Source: The New York Times January 25, 2016

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