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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 the international agreement in 2015 to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of 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: How much foreign investment has there been in Iran since the end of sanctions, and how does it compare to expectations? What are the opportunities and obstacles going forward? ...

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