In Reprieve for Multinational Business, Trump to Stave Snapback of Iran Sanctions

◢ Later today, President Trump will decertify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA on national security grounds. However, early reporting based on background briefings provided to European officials makes clear that administration does not intend to walk away from the Iran Deal.

◢ Instead, Trump is pushing the issue of Iran policy to Congress, recommending new actions to counteract Iran, but not going so far as to recommend the full "snapback" of sanctions.

Majority of Business Leaders Blame Trump for Slow Iran Investments

◢ A new survey by Bourse & Bazaar and IranPoll finds that business leaders believe Trump's rhetoric has slowed the pace of trade and investment by multinational companies in Iran.

◢ However, the results come at a time when the underlying commercial momentum seems strong. This suggests that Trump's words are having an impact not on those most directly working with Iran, but on the stakeholders on whom they rely. 

New Survey Examines Iranian Attitudes Towards Foreign Investment, Multinational Companies

◢ New survey conducted by IranPoll in partnership with Bourse & Bazaar looks at Iranian attitudes towards economic reform and foreign investment with new detail

◢ Iranians demonstrate high degree of openness to foreign investment and the economic reforms necessary to facilitate that investment. But they want multinational companies to do more to localize their offerings effectively. 

Is France Ready to Stand Up to Trump on Iran?

◢ With new U.S. sanctions on Russia and Iran set to come into force, the French Foreign Ministry issued a firm statement suggesting new U.S. sanctions could contravene international law. 

◢ While Germany is likely to lead on the push back against additional Russia sanctions, the importance of the Iranian market to French enterprise may mean that Macron is best positioned to intervene with Trump to help preserve the JCPOA. 

We Shouldn’t Defend the JCPOA at the Expense of the Iran Deal

◢ The JCPOA has now persisted for two years, and Iran is beginning to see post-sanctions benefits. But American support for the deal is wavering, and deal supporters in Washington have upped their advocacy. 

◢ But deal supporters often describe the JCPOA as an unusual concession from an otherwise threatening Iran, a characterization that undermines much of what the Iran Deal has achieved so far.

Country Managers Are Making Post-Sanctions Iran Work

◢ Behind every successful multinational deal in Iran is a country manager. These executives seek to balance the commercial goals of their companies with the needs of Iran's post-sanctions economy. 

◢ Country managers are a critical link in what is essentially a bureaucratic system. Policymakers need to help make this bureaucracy work better with better rules and systems so that country managers can succeed. 

To Break With Austerity, Rouhani Must Deliver on Sovereign Debt Sale

◢ To win foreign investment, Iran's needs to boost development expenditures. But expansionary fiscal policy will require a new source of revenue, as oil sales remain stagnant and tax rises remain politically risky. 

◢ A sovereign debt sale, long discussed by Iranian officials, is the fundamental way Iran can find the revenues to self-fund growth. The Rouhani administration must focus on making its bond offering a reality. 

Extention of Key Incentive Scheme Boosts Iran's Renewable Energy Market

◢ The recent extension of Iran's Feed-in-Tariffs scheme has renewable energy investors pushing to close deals in the next 12 months to take advantage of the strong government incentive packages. 

◢ But FiTs won't last forever, and Iranian energy authorities are working to improve the general mechanisms that support foreign investment in Iran's renewable sector, including the use of Iran's first competitive bidding tenders for renewable energy projects. 

Boeing, Iran, and American Jobs

◢ The first new Boeing jetliner is likely to be delivered to Iran Air later this month in what will a historic moment for US-Iran relations. 

◢ Boeing's deal with Iran Air represents a unique instance in which an American company's exports to Iran directly support American jobs. This simple fact may provide a framework on which US-Iran ties could be stablizied during the course of the Trump administration.

Slowly But Surely, Lake Urmia Comes Back to Life

◢ Lake Urmia was once the second largest salt-water lake in the world. But years of environmental mismanagement saw the surface area of the lake shrink by 90%.

◢ After a decade-long initiative led by the United Nations, and supported by the Iranian and Japanese governments, water levels in the lake are finally beginning to rebound.