US leaves holes in boycotts to enjoy what it can of Iran

Business Materials 22 October 2017 13:39 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, October 21

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Although the fact remains that the United States has put effective boycotts on business ties with Iran and nevertheless banned Iranian nationals from its territories, America nonetheless revels in the joys it can find only in Iran.

Under years-long sanctions, part of which were lifted in 2016 following Iran’s nuclear deal, Iran’s business ties with the US remained meager. Even after that, a primary set of US sanctions prohibited world companies from trading with Iranian entities in the USD. In 2017, nevertheless, President Donald Trump’s ban on Iranian nationals, along nationals of a few other countries, worsened the situation for Iranians.

However, both under sanctions and after they were nominally removed, some sectors still survived the bans and luxury Iranian products such as pistachio and carpet were exported from Iran to the States, however in small quantities.

Besides very few sectors, such as carpets and food, Iranians cannot do business with the US due to remaining sanctions, a legal expert told Trend October 21.

“Travel ban is by definition an obstacle to do business in the US for Iranian nationals, but more generally the remaining US sanctions and the attitude of Trump are bigger obstacles for Iranians to do business in the US,” Baki Maneche, the managing partner at Ferdowsi Legal (France/Iran) noted.

“I personally think the travel ban together with the aggressive attitude of Trump are far more against the Iranian people/nation than against business opportunities for Iranians in the US,” Maneche observed.

In the first half of 2016 (right after sanctions were lifted under the JCPOA), Iran’s non-oil exports to the United States grew by degrees to reach $39 million. The Persian rug had the greatest share in the exported value.

In 1985, Iranian raw pistachios accounted for 42 percent of the US market. Then, a 241-percent tariff on Iranian pistachio came as a hard blow to Iranian pistachio traders. However, the American market has not been completely without Iranian pistachio since then.