Energy and politics at the heart of post-sanctions Iran

Energy will catalyze the comeback of Iran on the international scene once economic sanctions are lifted. Early into the signature in July 2015 of the historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran had launched a large operation with a view to drawing foreign multinational corporations’ attention on business opportunities which Iran and its 80 million inhabitants represent.

Oil and gas are Iran’s two most privileged sectors. While inviting the OPEC to bring oil prices back to at least $70 per barrel, Iran repeats it stands ready to produce 500,000 additional bpd, values its investment needs at $100 billion for the sole oil sector and officially welcomes promising talks with companies like Italy’s Eni, France’s Total and UK’s Amec.

Such an exhibition of enthusiasm stems from a long-term rational political strategy that aims to build ties with multinationals in order to minimize any external interference, namely political and diplomatic “middlemen”. The idea is to persuade multinationals up to the point that, then, they impress upon their respective governments the interest of sanctions-free Iranian economy. The more business interactions grow, the more difficult it is to reverse the process started by the Iran Nuclear Deal.