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An Iranian oil worker rides his bicycle at the Tehran oil refinery south of Tehran, Iran, Dec. 22, 2014 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

Iran Has Yet to Realize Its Full Economic Potential in the Post-Sanctions Era

Monday, Aug. 28, 2017

When Iran signed an agreement with world powers to curb its nuclear program in 2015 in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani’s administration believed the deal would usher in badly needed foreign direct investment to relieve Iran’s economic woes. Two years on, the promise of an economic renaissance has not fully panned out. In an email interview, Sanam Vakil, professorial lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe in Bologna and associate fellow at Chatham House in London, discusses what Iran has achieved since the sanctions were lifted, the ongoing political wrangling between reformers and hard-liners, and whether or not the nuclear agreement will ultimately result in a softening of Iran’s foreign policy.

WPR: What has been the extent of foreign investment and deals procured by Iran since the end of sanctions, and how do they compare to expectations? What opportunities and obstacles can be expected going forward? ...

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