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July 17, 2015

After an agreement was reached on July 14, 2015 between the chief negotiators of Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany) over sanctions concerning Iran's nuclear weapons program, investors are already eager to move back in. The removal of banking restrictions, some of which have been in place since 1979, is expected to have an immediate effect on the tourism industry as it will facilitate cash withdrawals, hotel reservations and the use of credit cards. Iran estimates that the industry will increase to 20 million visitors a year by 2025. 

Analyst Comment: Pinkerton advises against new investment in Iran for at least the first three to six months after the agreement is made official by all parties (including the U.S. Congress, which could take 60 days), and is put into practice. After six months the probability that sanctions will snap back into place is likely to diminish significantly, as all sides become accustomed to the new status quo. Clients that already have a presence in Iran could resume operations much sooner, and are likely to find bureaucratic processes streamlined within country. Laws and administrative functions facilitating trade between Iran and the former sanctioning countries are likely to take longer to fully implement. 

Prepared by: Clint Richards, the Netherlands  

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