Hot topic – Iran: Middle East meets west…again


Frozen out of the international banking system, Iran looks likely to become the biggest country to rejoin the global economy since post-Communist Eastern Europe in the early 1990s.

In a monumental agreement between Iran and major global powers, earlier this year (July 2015) Iran submitted to intensive inspections and restrictions on its nuclear programme. In return, Iran will benefit from lifted sanctions that are currently keeping more than $100bn in assets frozen. But, as Iran presents a large potential foreign market – with consumer expenditures this year expected to be over $170bn – it is not just the Iranians who will benefit.

After sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme are lifted, a number of global industries should benefit from the opening up of the second-largest country in the Middle East. The resulting boom could create tens of billions of dollars worth of business for local and foreign companies, and shift the economic balance in the Gulf – which has so far been heavily weighted toward the Gulf Arab oil exporting countries.

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