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Spotlight: Iran attracts world amid pending for gains from JCPOA

Source: Xinhua   2016-05-26 01:23:30

TEHRAN, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Frequent visits to Iran by high-ranking political and economic delegations from various countries over the past five months, following the implementation of Iran nuclear deal, have led to an ambivalent sensation of fear and hope among the Iranians that whether these comes and goes will virtually serve the economy and welfare of the country.

Since January when Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented, the European Union (EU) has been involved in several rounds of dialogue to boost its relations with Iran in diverse areas.

Within this framework, the dialogue known as the "high-ranking negotiations" has been held between officials from Iran and EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and deputy foreign policy chief, Helga Schmid, who headed a high-ranking economic and political delegation in their visit to Tehran.

On April 24, Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, visited Iran, which resulted in signing various memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with their Iranian counterparts in the fields of energy, investment, agriculture, management of water resources, insurance, culture and arts.

Also, visits have been made by the Asian countries' high-ranking officials including from China, Japan, South Korea and India, which are in high energy demand and seeking presence in Iran's technology-hungry market. Some of these countries see Iran as a link connecting Central Asia, South Asia to West Asia, the geography which accommodates huge market capacity.

Western and UN nuclear sanctions against Iran over the latter's disputed nuclear program ended in January as the country, reportedly, implemented its obligations pertaining to the JCPOA.

However, observers share doubts whether Iran nuclear deal, sealed under U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran's moderate President Hassan Rouhani, has born immediate economic gains for the Islamic republic.

Although the international community is far from being a monolithic entity and eastern economic partners of Iran would likely choose not to follow the suit of the United States in the aftermath of the JCPOA implementation, it is yet hard to imagine that they will relentlessly pump millions of dollars into Iran's sanction-hit economy.

Serious arguments in the United States suggest that Washington, in post-Obama era, could reimpose sanctions against Tehran over some challenging disputes which might coerce the international companies and financial systems to follow the suit.

Controversy over the success of the JCPOA

After the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, the Iranians have not experienced the economic benefits of the deal, the exegesis is posed by the critics of President Hassan Rouhani's landmark deal.

Critics of the JCPOA in Iran are largely led by the hardline conservatives who have faced uphill battle to regain support by the public following their loss in 2013 presidential election and early 2016 parliamentary elections.

They are looking for loopholes in implementation of the deal to reemerge as the outspoken political force in Iran's political scene: they have voiced concerned that "Rouhani's administration has, for example, saved France's Airbus from stagnation" by signing contracts, and have criticized the United States for what they have called "mis-appropriation of Iranian assets frozen in the U.S. banks under various pretexts."

They have also dismissed recent remarks of the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States was open to a "new arrangement" with Iran for resolving the issues pertaining to the country's missile program.

Continued pressures of the United States against Iran have barred the international financial institutions to get engaged with the Islamic republic, the Iranian hardline politicians said.

On the other side, the supporters of deal argue that the continuation of the negotiations between the Iranian government and the world political and economic officials guarantee Iran's achievements which started with the nuclear deal.

According to Article 14 of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, the contracts that are signed at the time that anti-Iran sanctions are lifted will be largely immune if sanctions snap back, Reza Nasri, Law Expert at Geneva's Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI), said.

Therefore, such important and vast areas of cooperation as energy, air transportation, telecommunications, health, environment, agriculture, education, transportation and many others sectors, which are covered by contracts that have been signed with the European, Asian and African sides, will be largely immune to possible snapback of sanctions, Nasri wrote in Iran Rniew.

This is the source of confidence and stability for the private sector and helps Iran's industries to take advantage of many important services and modern technologies, while providing necessary psychological atmosphere to attract investors for signing valuable and long-term contracts, he said.

Whether they want economic growth or they struggle to survive, their fate and their companies' fate, partially, hinges on good relations with Tehran, which will help Iran's economy, he added.

Hundreds of MoUs, contracts, still need to be negotiated, implemented

Pursuant to the implementation of JCPOA in January, in theory, Iran can sell its oil in world markets, enter active negotiations with all the foreign enterprisers and companies to cooperate in many areas and mobilize money through the global financial-transaction system known as SWIFT.

Iran expects all its foreign partners, including governments, private sectors and financial institutions, to take their negotiations with Iran for mutual economic cooperation seriously independent of the U.S. "coercive" policies and measures.

Five months ago after most of western sanctions against Iran were lifted, President Rouhani officially welcomed the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tehran where both sides agreed to expand bilateral ties and increase trade value to 600 billion U.S. dollars in the next 10 years.

Iran and China agreed on forming strategic relations in a 25-year comprehensive document, and Iran urged China to invest in its energy sector. They signed 17 accords including cooperation in energy sector.

Following the meeting with Xi, Rouhani flew to Italy and France, where he signed nearly 50 billion euros worth of deals. He invited the French companies to come and invest in Iran. "My coming here is to show that Iran is ready for investments," Rouhani told French executives in Paris.

The rubric of investment opportunities for foreigners attracted many other European and Asian officials as the executives flock to Tehran to hunt for investment opportunities in a country with 80 million population, well-educated young human resources and rich energy supplies.

Almost one-third of the visits concluded in inking MoUs and accords for foreign investments, still pending for further negotiations and grounds for implementation.

The most recent of these meetings were held here on Tuesday between the Iranian businessmen and their visiting Chinese partners, when seven MoUs were signed on the boost of trade ties and investments in Iran. On Monday, Iranian and Indian officials also inked 12 MoUs in Tehran to expand ties in diverse areas.

While Iran has announced it is more than ever ready for investments, but international companies drag their feet to invest in the country since they fear that they may face obstacles due to the sour relations between Iran and the United States as well as complications involved in the money transfer to and out of the country.

The United Sates has still its sanction on Iran over the alleged violations of human rights and supports of terrorism, which Iran denies.

Also, Washington has recently blacklisted some Iranian and foreign entities for being involved in Iran's missile program.

In addition, Since January, the U.S. Congress has made it clear that those sanctions are there to stay. These restrictions bar American companies from doing business with the Iranian government or with any entity that has links to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Besides, U.S. financial institutions are barred from dollar transactions involving Iran -- a major hurdle for all global companies, since countless transactions pass through a U.S. financial intermediary at some point.

These continued restrictions have raised concerns among the international companies that they could fall victim of the U.S. law if they invest in Iran.

Editor: yan
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Xinhuanet

Spotlight: Iran attracts world amid pending for gains from JCPOA

Source: Xinhua 2016-05-26 01:23:30
[Editor: huaxia]

TEHRAN, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Frequent visits to Iran by high-ranking political and economic delegations from various countries over the past five months, following the implementation of Iran nuclear deal, have led to an ambivalent sensation of fear and hope among the Iranians that whether these comes and goes will virtually serve the economy and welfare of the country.

Since January when Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented, the European Union (EU) has been involved in several rounds of dialogue to boost its relations with Iran in diverse areas.

Within this framework, the dialogue known as the "high-ranking negotiations" has been held between officials from Iran and EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and deputy foreign policy chief, Helga Schmid, who headed a high-ranking economic and political delegation in their visit to Tehran.

On April 24, Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, visited Iran, which resulted in signing various memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with their Iranian counterparts in the fields of energy, investment, agriculture, management of water resources, insurance, culture and arts.

Also, visits have been made by the Asian countries' high-ranking officials including from China, Japan, South Korea and India, which are in high energy demand and seeking presence in Iran's technology-hungry market. Some of these countries see Iran as a link connecting Central Asia, South Asia to West Asia, the geography which accommodates huge market capacity.

Western and UN nuclear sanctions against Iran over the latter's disputed nuclear program ended in January as the country, reportedly, implemented its obligations pertaining to the JCPOA.

However, observers share doubts whether Iran nuclear deal, sealed under U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran's moderate President Hassan Rouhani, has born immediate economic gains for the Islamic republic.

Although the international community is far from being a monolithic entity and eastern economic partners of Iran would likely choose not to follow the suit of the United States in the aftermath of the JCPOA implementation, it is yet hard to imagine that they will relentlessly pump millions of dollars into Iran's sanction-hit economy.

Serious arguments in the United States suggest that Washington, in post-Obama era, could reimpose sanctions against Tehran over some challenging disputes which might coerce the international companies and financial systems to follow the suit.

Controversy over the success of the JCPOA

After the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, the Iranians have not experienced the economic benefits of the deal, the exegesis is posed by the critics of President Hassan Rouhani's landmark deal.

Critics of the JCPOA in Iran are largely led by the hardline conservatives who have faced uphill battle to regain support by the public following their loss in 2013 presidential election and early 2016 parliamentary elections.

They are looking for loopholes in implementation of the deal to reemerge as the outspoken political force in Iran's political scene: they have voiced concerned that "Rouhani's administration has, for example, saved France's Airbus from stagnation" by signing contracts, and have criticized the United States for what they have called "mis-appropriation of Iranian assets frozen in the U.S. banks under various pretexts."

They have also dismissed recent remarks of the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States was open to a "new arrangement" with Iran for resolving the issues pertaining to the country's missile program.

Continued pressures of the United States against Iran have barred the international financial institutions to get engaged with the Islamic republic, the Iranian hardline politicians said.

On the other side, the supporters of deal argue that the continuation of the negotiations between the Iranian government and the world political and economic officials guarantee Iran's achievements which started with the nuclear deal.

According to Article 14 of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, the contracts that are signed at the time that anti-Iran sanctions are lifted will be largely immune if sanctions snap back, Reza Nasri, Law Expert at Geneva's Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI), said.

Therefore, such important and vast areas of cooperation as energy, air transportation, telecommunications, health, environment, agriculture, education, transportation and many others sectors, which are covered by contracts that have been signed with the European, Asian and African sides, will be largely immune to possible snapback of sanctions, Nasri wrote in Iran Rniew.

This is the source of confidence and stability for the private sector and helps Iran's industries to take advantage of many important services and modern technologies, while providing necessary psychological atmosphere to attract investors for signing valuable and long-term contracts, he said.

Whether they want economic growth or they struggle to survive, their fate and their companies' fate, partially, hinges on good relations with Tehran, which will help Iran's economy, he added.

Hundreds of MoUs, contracts, still need to be negotiated, implemented

Pursuant to the implementation of JCPOA in January, in theory, Iran can sell its oil in world markets, enter active negotiations with all the foreign enterprisers and companies to cooperate in many areas and mobilize money through the global financial-transaction system known as SWIFT.

Iran expects all its foreign partners, including governments, private sectors and financial institutions, to take their negotiations with Iran for mutual economic cooperation seriously independent of the U.S. "coercive" policies and measures.

Five months ago after most of western sanctions against Iran were lifted, President Rouhani officially welcomed the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tehran where both sides agreed to expand bilateral ties and increase trade value to 600 billion U.S. dollars in the next 10 years.

Iran and China agreed on forming strategic relations in a 25-year comprehensive document, and Iran urged China to invest in its energy sector. They signed 17 accords including cooperation in energy sector.

Following the meeting with Xi, Rouhani flew to Italy and France, where he signed nearly 50 billion euros worth of deals. He invited the French companies to come and invest in Iran. "My coming here is to show that Iran is ready for investments," Rouhani told French executives in Paris.

The rubric of investment opportunities for foreigners attracted many other European and Asian officials as the executives flock to Tehran to hunt for investment opportunities in a country with 80 million population, well-educated young human resources and rich energy supplies.

Almost one-third of the visits concluded in inking MoUs and accords for foreign investments, still pending for further negotiations and grounds for implementation.

The most recent of these meetings were held here on Tuesday between the Iranian businessmen and their visiting Chinese partners, when seven MoUs were signed on the boost of trade ties and investments in Iran. On Monday, Iranian and Indian officials also inked 12 MoUs in Tehran to expand ties in diverse areas.

While Iran has announced it is more than ever ready for investments, but international companies drag their feet to invest in the country since they fear that they may face obstacles due to the sour relations between Iran and the United States as well as complications involved in the money transfer to and out of the country.

The United Sates has still its sanction on Iran over the alleged violations of human rights and supports of terrorism, which Iran denies.

Also, Washington has recently blacklisted some Iranian and foreign entities for being involved in Iran's missile program.

In addition, Since January, the U.S. Congress has made it clear that those sanctions are there to stay. These restrictions bar American companies from doing business with the Iranian government or with any entity that has links to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Besides, U.S. financial institutions are barred from dollar transactions involving Iran -- a major hurdle for all global companies, since countless transactions pass through a U.S. financial intermediary at some point.

These continued restrictions have raised concerns among the international companies that they could fall victim of the U.S. law if they invest in Iran.

[Editor: huaxia]
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