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"Iran Business Responsibility" launches website

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is working with International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on the "Iran Business Responsibility" (IBR) project.

Visit the project website launched in June 2017, and explore the articles below for insights on the new investments in Iran.

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20 April 2017

Chinese, Iranian firms to sign first nuclear plant redesign contracts

Author: Reuters, Ben Blanchard

Companies from China and Iran will this weekend sign the first commercial contracts to redesign an Iranian nuclear plant as part of an international deal reached in 2015 over Iran's nuclear program, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The fate of the Arak reactor in central Iran was one of the toughest sticking points in the long nuclear negotiations that led to the agreement, signed by Iran with the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.

In the redesign, the heavy water reactor will be reconfigured so it cannot yield fissile plutonium usable in a nuclear bomb.

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19 April 2017

U.S. says Iran complies with nuke deal but orders review on lifting sanctions

Author: Reuters, Lesley Wroughton

The Trump administration said on Tuesday it was launching an inter-agency review of whether the lifting of sanctions against Iran was in the United States' national security interests, while acknowledging that Tehran was complying with a deal to rein in its nuclear program.

In a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, on Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran remained compliant with the 2015 deal, but said there were concerns about its role as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Under the deal, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days on Iran's compliance under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is the first such notification under U.S. President Donald Trump.

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16 April 2017

UK cautiously eyes $600bn opportunity in Iran investment drive

Author: The Telegraph, Jillian Ambrose

K firms are cautiously eying opportunities in Iran ahead of an expected $600bn boom in trade and infrastructure investment over the next ten years.

The Islamic Republic is embarking on an ambitious investment drive as it emerges from decades of isolation imposed by international sanctions.

The key infrastructure projects required includes the expansion of its 10,223km long state-owned rail network which supports industrial and commercial corridors and is expected to expand to over 25,000km by 2025, according to consultancy firm Ipsos.

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11 April 2017

EU Prolongs Sanctions on Iran Over Human Rights Violations

Author: Reuters, Gabriela Baczynska

The European Union on Tuesday extended until April 2018 sanctions against Iran for "serious human rights violations", a narrower measure than restrictions the bloc had already lifted after an international accord on Tehran's nuclear programme.

The EU has pursued rapprochement with Iran since the 2015 nuclear deal, which reversed a decade of hard-hitting Western financial and trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Top EU officials have been shuttling in and out of Tehran since, often accompanied by large European business delegations.


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4 April 2017

Boeing Gets $3 Billion Iran Jet Deal in Potential Test for Trump

Author: Bloomberg, Julie Johnsson and Rick Clough

Boeing Co. landed its second jetliner deal with an Iranian airline since the 1970s, a $3 billion agreement that sets up a test of the planemaker’s ties with President Donald Trump.

The pact with Iran Aseman Airlines to purchase 30 of Boeing’s 737 Max planes adds to a separate $16.6 billion agreement with Iran Air, which the company is still finalizing. If completed, the transactions would be the first U.S. aircraft sales to the Islamic Republic since the Shah era.

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31 March 2017

Even Bold Foreign Investors Tiptoe in Iran

Author: New York Times, Stanley Reed

...Like many international oil players, Total has been lured by the promise of a large and lucrative market with vast energy reserves. But the changing geopolitical landscape has made companies wary of the sanctions and restrictions tied to working there...

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30 March 2017

Iranian sovereign fund targeting healthcare, high-tech

Author: Zawya, Claire Milhench

Iranian sovereign fund IFIC is targeting investments in the healthcare and high-tech sectors in the hope of improving the lives of Iranians, Vahid Sharif, an investment manager at the fund, said on Thursday.

The Iran Foreign Investment Company, set up in 1997 as a holding company to manage the state's assets and investments overseas, has around $5 billion under management, Sharif said. Revenues come from company dividends, and its mandate is to reinvest these in new opportunities abroad.

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27 March 2017

Foreign Investors Flock to Iran as U.S. Firms Watch on the Sidelines

Author: Wall Street Journal, Asa Fitch and Benoit Faucon

After years shunning Iran, Western businesses are bursting through the country’s doors—but U.S. companies are noticeably absent.

Dozens of development projects and deals have been hammered out since Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers in 2015 lifted a range of sanctions. Among them, France’s Peugeot and Renault SA are building cars. The U.K.’s Vodafone Group PLC is teaming up with an Iranian firm to build up network infrastructure. Major oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell PLC have signed provisional agreements to develop energy resources. And infrastructure giants, including Germany’s Siemens AG, have entered into agreements for large projects.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. last year got the go-ahead to sell 80 aircraft valued at $16.6 billion to Iran. But for the most part, deals involving U.S. businesses are few and far between.

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27 March 2017

How long can Boeing's Iran deal survive?

Author: CNN Money, Zahraa Alkhalisi

The odds of Boeing selling planes to Iran appear to be lengthening by the day.
Relations between Iran and the U.S. are going from bad to worse. Tehran slapped sanctions on 15 U.S. companies Sunday in retaliation for American sanctions announced last month.
"Imposition of new sanctions by the U.S. is based on fabricated and illegitimate pretexts and amount to an action against international regulations," Iran's foreign ministry said in a statement.
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Boeing (BA) signed an $8 billion deal to sell 80 jets to Iran Air after many sanctions were lifted as part of an international deal on the country's nuclear program.

... The next big test for Boeing's deal is likely to come in June, when sanction waivers signed by President Obama will be due for renewal. It's the first time Trump will have to sign them.
"The next round of waivers... are absolutely crucial," said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council. "If the Trump administration doesn't renew them, the United States will be in direct violation of the deal. If so, the deal will start collapsing and the United States will be blamed for its collapse."
Related: Trump's move on Iran could cost jobs at Boeing
To complicate matters, a bill has been introduced in Congress to investigate whether Iran Air supports the Iranian Revolutionary Guard or foreign terrorist organizations.
If Iran Air were found to have such links, it would be prevented from receiving new aircraft or U.S.-made parts. That would effectively freeze the sale of jets from Boeing to Iran.
The first Boeing planes are scheduled to arrive in 2018.

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26 March 2017

Iran Slaps Sanctions on 15 U.S. Companies as Animosity Grows

Author: Wall Street Journal, Asa Fitch

Iran on Sunday sanctioned 15 American companies in retaliation for restrictions that the Trump administration imposed on companies and people allegedly connected with its ballistic-missile program.

Iran had vowed reciprocal action soon after the Trump administration’s move last month, one of several escalations between Iran and the U.S. since President Donald Trump took office in January.

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