In Depth

US business poised for Iran deal bonanza

Agreement with Iran will open up new markets for everything from aircraft to pistachio nuts

A range of American businesses, in markets as diverse as caviar and carpets, are expected to benefit from the nuclear deal signed yesterday between Iran and six world powers.

The agreement limits Iranian nuclear activity in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions.It is set to have widespread business benefits in on both sides of the Atlantic and in Iran itself, which will get access to foreign investment. Among the other American industries set to cash in are the aircraft-manufacturing and pistachio markets.Significantly for US multinationals, the section of the agreement relating to sanctions relief states that Washington could issue trading licences to foreign subsidiaries of US corporations, the Washington Post reports.Foreign divisions would be allowed "to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with" the nuclear deal, according to the wording of the agreement."This little paragraph is a really big deal," says Elizabeth Rosenberg, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, who previously worked at Treasury handling sanctions issues. She said it would give big US businesses a way in to investing in Iran.Acknowledging that businesses across the globe will be eyeing huge opportunities in Iran, Rouzbeh Pirouz, executive chairman of Turquoise Partners, a boutique investment fund in Iran's capital market, told the Financial Times: "This is a historic moment which represents a breakthrough opportunity for global investors to invest in one of the most exciting markets of the future."However, the White House says that the restrictions on US trade and investment will remain in effect, with the exception of imports of food and carpets and the export of passenger planes for Iran's troubled airline.The Washington Post says that Boeing in particular will benefit from the lifting of trade restrictions.Europe, meanwhile, is said to be leading the race to develop Iran's oil resources.

"The Iranian government and the oil majors have been quietly courting each other in the run-up to the agreement," The Independent reports, "with companies such as BP, Shell, Eni, Statoil and Total all thought to be seriously considering a move into the country."

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