Who Benefits From The Lifting Of Iranian Sanctions?

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Source: James Hall

With the approval vote in the United Nation Security Council of the P5 + 1 Iranian agreement, a smorgasbord of eager trading partners claw themselves out of the woodwork. The liquid black gold rush is on. With the rescinding of sanctions put into motion, over time the wheels of commerce will be put back on track. No matter what the U.S. Congress does, the flood from international trade will start making deals with Iran.

A sample of some of these activities follows:

1) Even before sanctions are lifted, foreign investors try to tap into Iran

“Multinational mobile phone companies, car makers and hospitality firms are seen as the most primed to benefit from the lifting of sanctions.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it sees Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as likely beneficiaries from Iranian foreign trade, which could increase to $200 billion by 2020 from $80 billion now.”

2) Corporate winners from the nuclear agreement

“Citi Research analyst Chris Wetherbee said the opening of Iran is a “net positive” for international tanker firms, because Iran’s aging fleet won’t be able to compete, and more energy supplies will be on the market.”

“All of the major banking institutions in the industrial world will try to finance and facilitate increased trade with Iran,” Christopher Whalen, senior managing director at Kroll Bond Rating Agency, told CNBC. “It’s a big country, (and) they are very Western-focused. Iranians are consumers of everything. You can anticipate anything from industrial equipment to consumer products will definitely be bought, and will definitely be financed.”

3) Lifting of Iran sanctions positive for Indian oil refiners: India Ratings

“Lower crude oil prices following the Iran nuclear deal will contribute positively to the Indian economy, across the oil and gas value chain barring domestic upstream players, India Ratings and Research has said.

A decline in oil prices could lower LNG (liquefied natural gas) prices and this is likely to benefit end-consumer industries such as fertilizer and petrochemicals, it said.”

4) Pakistan Hopes to Benefit from Iran Deal, With Chinese Help

“Now, with the prospect of sanctions on Iran lifting in the near future, Pakistan is hoping to become one of the early beneficiaries of a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers by finally completing the Iran-Pakistan pipeline.

But funding for the expensive project, expected to cost about $2 billion, is another problem for cash-strapped Pakistan.   That is why it is trying to piggyback this project on another one funded mostly by its rich neighbor, China.

China will provide 85 percent of the $2 billion required to build a liquid natural gas terminal at Pakistan’s southern port city Gwadar.  The project includes a 700 kilometer long pipeline to other areas of the country.”

5) Russia may benefit most from West’s agreement with Iran

“Washington will live to regret this decision as its once greatest allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, as well as Egypt and even Turkey, start to feel as though they were betrayed by the United States.

Looking to counter what the Gulf Arabs perceive as a genuine threat, logic dictates they are likely to turn to Russia for a fresh alliance and to help them counter the Iranian threat.”

6) Lifting of sanctions brings hopes for Iran Air fleet frozen in time

“Trapped in isolation with outdated planes, Iran Air – a carrier dragged down by decades of economic restrictions – finally felt a gust of hope last week thanks to the international nuclear accord and a potential lifting of sanctions.

Once the deal is implemented, the Islamic republic will be able to replace its vintage aircraft, some of which are almost 30 years old.”

All these examples share in a common interest that comes from commerce. Nonetheless, buying and selling is seldom a strict barter arrangement. The banking system and currency conversion for payment and settlement becomes a necessary component. The lifting of sanctions is really reducible to reestablishing the financial clearing function.

While the creation of the BRICS trading block provides a workable competing opportunity for Iran to engage, the necessity to transact with Western companies becomes obvious.

Replacement of an airline fleet means buying from Western companies like Boeing and Airbus.  Hoping that Russia or China would be able to construct an alternative is just not practical.

The Asian ship builders like South Korea may be looking for future tanker orders, since competitive fabrication companies are producing the most functional naval transports.

Finally, the consumer electronic sector sees the Iranian market as a prime target long restricted from all the gadgets that facilitate global communication.

The United States will lag behind most other countries from trading with Iran for a simple reason. Iranian unwelcoming attitudes towards America will translate into doing business with anyone but the Yankee devil, whenever possible.

While Iranian youth may be far more open to reinstituting commercial relations with America, the political regime holds fast to fighting the imperial globalization of Western corporatism.

In order to grease the gears of advantageous international commerce, the energy sector will still lead an Iranian economic reintegration. Marking the difference between mutually beneficial business transactions from corporatist exploration and plunder of natural resources, should be the task for going forward.

Set aside the politics of the neo-feudalism version of 21st colonialism and reopen the prospects of reducing tension and hatred by abolishing sanctions as a destructive tool for foreign policy.

All sincere parties benefit and profit from cordial business relations. Iran’s desire to have sanctions eliminated offers hope that better relationships and positive interaction can progress.

The overwhelming approval of foreign nations to break the embargo of NeoCon “axis of evil” propaganda demonstrates that promoting “good business” is preferable to detrimental isolation and damaging hostilities.

The proper standard to adopt was established by George Washington in his Farewell Address.

“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.”

Sanctions violate “conventional rules of intercourse”. International affairs never remain constant. Notwithstanding, the wisdom of President Washington, the current political and economic culture is hell bent on breaking the rules for favorable commerce.  Resumed trade with Iran will offer a positive opportunity to lower the antagonistic tension and restart rehabilitative dialogue.

James Hall

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