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Brexit draws UK companies to Iran despite shadow of sanctions

Iranian power plant at ShazandWith the prospect of Brexit limiting their ability to operated within the EU, UK firms are cautiously turning to the attention the opportunities potentially on offer from Iran’s $600bn anticipated boom in trade and infrastructure investment over the next ten years.
With the Islamic Republic about to embarking on an ambitious investment drive after years of international isolation, the authorities in Tehran are expected to be looking overseas for the finance it requires for a number of key projects, including the expansion of its 10,223km long state-owned rail network; the construction of 7 new international airports; the upgrade of 54 existing ones; and the acquisition of a new fleet of aircraft. The state carrier Iran Air has already placed orders with Airbus for 114 new aircraft and it is estimated that another 600 new airplanes will be needed over the next decade.
Iran also hopes to secure large investments into its unexplored and under-developed natural gas sector.
“Is there an opportunity here for UK business? Of course there is,” said Amanda Clack, head of Infrastructure and consultancy EY told The Telegraph this week. “Deliverability is key and contracts could be won by British companies on the basis of professionalism. These skills are underpinned by high standards and regulation which means the companies are more likely to offer a robust approach to the work.”
However, according to the The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce (BICC), the main obstacle towards a significant increase in British Iranian trade lies in the absence of banking facilities caused by the fear among European banks of American primary sanctions against Iran which were retained even after the Iran nuclear deal in late 2015.
“Until the American election there were indications that some UK banks were willing to handle direct transactions with Iran under certain conditions. Since then attitudes of the banks seem to have become more cautious and restrictive,” a spokesman said.

 

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Tehran agrees to sell $1.5bn in bonds to develop communal oil and gas fields

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Amazon facing penalties over Iran

Amazon CEO Jeff BezosE-commerce giant Amazon could be facing penalties from the US Treasury, it has emerged, after it told both the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security that it had sold a variety of consumer products to individuals and unspecified groups controlled or owned by the Iranian government.
The goods ranged from apparel to software to pet products and cost $50 to about $2,400, according to the filing, and mean that Amazon has in all probability contravened the Iran Threat Reduction Action signed by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to strengthen trade restrictions on Iran and try to persuade it to stop its nuclear activities. In January 2016, the U.S. lifted some of the economic sanctions tied to the nuclear program.
US President Donald TrumpThe transactions appear to have came to light during an internal review which a spokesperson described as “ongoing” and which highlights the nervousness currently sweeping corporate America about the Trump administration taking an increasingly hard line towards companies doing business with Iran.

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Trump travel ban puts Boeing’s $8bn deal with Iran Air in jeopardy

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Iran Air takes delivery of first Airbus jet in ‘bright day’ for aviation sector

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Concerns over Trump hard-line policy prompt BP to step back from Iran

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Rouhani threatens to revive nuclear programme after Senate votes for 10-year extension to Iran Sanctions Act

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BP US CEO Bob Dudley stands back from special Iranian task force

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Total wins race to sign first energy deal with Iran since end of sanctions

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Deutsche Bahn agrees to test drive new South West transport corridor to Iran

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Renault joins Western rush into Iranian car market

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CITIC gets ready to pump $10bn into Iranian mining sector

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Thousands apply for Iranian credit cards as consumer boom heats up

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US treasury accused of ‘terrorism’ as Russia looks to win race to secure foothold in Iranian banking sector

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Swiss win Aprin dry port contract as Iran’s non-oil exports boom

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Trade with Iran surges – but tensions in Gulf threaten to spoil Tehran’s party

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Iranian oil industry draws up company list as it seeks to raise $100bn

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