Business in Iran: Awaiting the gold rush

THE currency traders plying the half-empty arrivals hall of Tehran’s international airport have a simple view of the nuclear talks that Iran’s government is conducting with assorted foreign powers. If a deal is made, one says, “the planes will come in from everywhere.”Hopes are high among businesspeople, in Iran and abroad, that the country may soon cease to be a commercial pariah. After decades of ever more stringent sanctions, imposed mostly by Western countries to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb, they are licking their lips in anticipation. America’s chief negotiator, Wendy Sherman, heightened excitement recently when she said, “I have to tell you, as soon as we suspend our major sanctions—which will happen very early in the agreement—the world will flood into Iran.” And in a small taste of things to come, on October 22nd Boeing said it had made its first sale to Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979: $120,000-worth of aircraft manuals and other data.Officials in Tehran have started receiving foreign business delegations, hoping to win allies in the battle against sanctions. A waiter at a luxury hotel shows off a wallet full of tips from around…

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