Blog - Commentary

By Shahrzad Atai on 22 May 2017

Iran elections strengthen trading conditions

Iran: Trading looks set to continue following elections

With the elections over, trading with Iran looks set to improve despite US presidential mood swings.

With President Rohani’s re-election this weekend, most people believe that Iran’s economy will be in a better position and the country open for international business.

On 17 May 2017, the Trump Administration upheld the Iran Sanctions Waiver, keeping the nuclear deal alive. However, despite the lifting of sanctions, difficulties still exist. Iranian companies and individuals, for example, are still unable to have a normal standard bank transfer with the UK - unlike some other European countries.

A degree of progress has been made on international larger deals - a major airplane deal was licenced and approved in the United States just before the end of Mr Obama’s presidency with the first couple of airplanes now delivered to Iran and currently operating European flights.

Other international deals are under consideration - the United Wagon Company from Russia signed a €300 million deal  in February to supply a total of 6,000 cars and will soon start supplying freight wagons to Iran.

The change of mood in the US, following Mr Trump’s election and subsequent executive order, has undoubtedly put a dampener on the improved trading conditions.

However, one important factor to consider is that international treaties or conventions are between states/governments and not private individuals. In this case President Rohani and President Obama were not the only parties to the agreement on the Iran deal –  it was an international agreement signed by France, Germany, UK, Russia and the USA.

The international treaties are legally binding, and if every government went back on a treaty and decided to void it after change of president, not only it would be breach of international laws, but it would also create a crisis in the international community and impact on the Rule of Law.

With the elections in Iran now over, there is every reason to hope that trading conditions will continue to improve and that the country is well and truly open for business. 

Shahrzad Atai is Head of the Middle East Desk at Child & Child