All is not well with the Iran nuclear deal
Almost a year ago in Vienna, world powers and Iran reached agreement on the latter’s nuclear program
Almost a year ago in Vienna, world powers and Iran reached agreement on the latter’s nuclear program after two years of talks. The deal brought much hope and joy in Iran, particularly with promises of an economic boost and closer ties with the West.
However, a veteran reporter who covered the talks, told me over the phone: “We’ll see each other again soon for the next round of talks.” When asked to elaborate, the reply was: “Can’t you see the deal has implementation problems? It’s not working, and Iran and the United States need to resume talks sooner or later to find a solution.”
The concerns of European banks about working with Iran is one the most difficult issues. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sees the difficulties as sabotage. Due to a lack of direct ties between Iran and the United States, communication between their governments is always difficult if not impossible.
Iran’s oil industry, which was almost paralyzed by sanctions, has almost reached pre-sanctions production levelsCamelia Entekhabi-Fard
Observers and experts know that Iran’s economy will not improve overnight, as sanctions greatly weakened it. An economic boost requires the United States regardless of sanctions being lifted.
The US biggest global investor in the oil and gas industries, but Americans are not allowed to work with Iran. The presence of US companies anywhere encourages other investors to enter a market. However, Khamenei does not seem to welcome foreign investors.
Market uncertainty has made Europeans take a wait-and-watch approach. This has hindered efforts by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to attract investors and improve ties with European nations. Nonetheless, Iranian private-sector companies signed $3billion worth of deals during his recent European tour.
Iran’s oil industry, which was almost paralyzed by sanctions, has almost reached pre-sanctions production levels. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangheneh last week said those levels will be reached in a couple of months.
However, increasing production further will be difficult because of a lack of investors and the high risks they face due to political instability in Iran.
The country has a long way to go to improve its economy, particularly if it continues with its economic and political agendas. I asked my reporter friend when he expected the next round of talks. “Soon. By the next US administration.”
Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard