Foreign Policy Focused on Publicizing Investment Potentials

Foreign Policy Focused on Publicizing Investment Potentials Foreign Policy Focused on Publicizing Investment Potentials

Iran’s diplomacy is primarily focused on promoting Iran’s investment opportunities, the vice president for economic affairs said.

“The main objective of economic diplomacy pursued by the current government is to raise awareness among international firms about Iran’s economic and investment potentials,” Mohammad Nahavandian told IRNA on Monday.

He was appointed to the top economic post a month ago by President Hassan Rouhani, whose four-year tenure was extended in the May election.

During Rouhani’s previous term in office, Nahavandian served as his chief of staff. He is now accompanying the president on his trip to the US to attend the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Attracting foreign investment and technology ranks high in the Rouhani administration’s plans to revive a domestic economy struggling to recuperate from years of international sanctions that were removed under the 2015 nuclear accord.

The sanctions relief was expected to strengthen Rouhani’s hand in pushing his economic reforms.

But a combination of domestic conservative resistance to engagement with the western world and the US hostile measures and residual non-nuclear sanctions has complicated the government’s efforts to open the economy to foreign investment.

 Tapping Expats’ Potential

Rouhani met with a group of Iranian expatriates residing in the United States a day earlier on the sidelines of the annual gathering.

Nahavandian said the US-based expatriates have shown great interest in making investment in projects inside Iran.

“The community of Iranian Americans is interested in undertaking economic activities in Iran. But [such cooperation] would be subject to the current US rules,” he said.

“All foreign companies, whether non-Iranian or Iranian firms based abroad, can participate in various projects in Iran. Their operations would fall within the framework of the rules of their own countries.”

He praised the nuclear deal with major powers as a major achievement of Rouhani’s first administration that has led to a breakthrough in rebuilding Iran’s foreign trade.

“Given the new atmosphere in the wake of JCPOA, some opportunities have arisen for the expansion of Iran’s economic relations with the world. Such opportunities are now available in various domains, including trade, transport, finance and investment,” he said.

JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal Iran reached with the six powers (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany) to get relief from economic sanctions in return for accepting time-bound curbs on its nuclear program.

An economic office was set up at the Foreign Ministry last month for ensuring that Iran’s overseas economic activities are aligned with the targets of the government’s economic diplomacy.

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