Week in Brief 13.09.2018

With the return of the US sanctions against Iran, Europe activated the blocking regulations to support those European companies who wish to retain their business relation with Iranian partners.

However, as it was already expected, large European companies remain reluctant to pursue their activities in Iran.

Since the EU has no means to force companies to work with Iran, the Iranian government is taking steps to use the European support.

Iran is expanding its foreign direct investments overseas. Iran Foreign Investments Co., a state-owned fund, has assets and investments in 22 countries worth nearly 5 billion USD, as Wallstreet Journal reports.

The fund’s main investment strategy is to provide access to services, goods and technologies for Iran which otherwise cannot be obtained due to the US sanctions.

The fund has recently purchased a pharmaceutical manufacturer in France. WSJ quotes the fund’s CEO, Farhad Zargari stating that the foreign investments are supposed to create a bridge which allows technology and know-how to flow into Iran.

Such companies, operating under the European rules, can be protected by blocking regulations. These investments bring also money to the Iranian state, as WSJ writes. Within the three years through 2016, the fund’s investment only in Germany rose by 16% reaching 814 million USD.

Nevertheless, such solutions normally can be reached only through complex routes which not only increase the financial costs but also decrease transparency.

However, if Iran is to fight the US sanctions, it needs to find intelligent ways to be able to bypass them.

Related article: Iran foreign investments to help bypassing sanctions