Earlier this year Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani signed $56 billion worth of deals on aircrafts, rail lines, and airport terminals amongst others in a trip to Europe to commemorate the end of Western sanctions on Iran. Last year the US, European Union and United Nations signed a nuclear deal with Iran which allows the country to kickstart their economy with international deals.
However, things haven’t been that simple since then. In a disconnect between Europe and the US over the sanctions, as the US has left in place other sanctions on the grounds of human rights abuses. These restrictions stop American companies from doing business with the Iranian government or with any entity that has links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. As well as this, US financial institutions are barred from dollar transactions involving Iran, causing major problems for global countries. Iran now has the ability to sell its oil to the world market and US companies can invest in Iran for the first time in years, albeit with permission from the Treasury Department.
In January the US introduced a new rule requiring anyone who has visited Iran in the last 5 years to apply in advance for visas to the US. Financial transactions with Iran are also difficult to complete due to no international bank operating in the country. Last year, BNP Paribas agreed to pay a $8.9 billion fine after the bank pleaded guilty to doing business in Cuba, Sudan, and Iran, leaving other companies worried of similar consequences.