Optimism abounds as Iran warms up to West

Already, businesses in Iran are pre-positioning themselves for the opportunities that could line up after a possible lifting of sanctions if an agreement is met on its nuclear program.

Morteza Nikoubazl/REUTERS/File
This 2012 file photo shows a view of the inside of a shopping mall in Tehran, Iran.

Iranian public opinion has, for the large part, reacted optimistically to Tehran’s engagement in talks with the West over its controversial nuclear program. While the program itself is shrouded in nationalist spirit — few would be happy to see it go — the idea of a rapprochement has opened up the possibility of an economic recovery, following years of devastating sanctions.

“People are almost too hopeful,” explains our correspondent covering Iran. “You talk to people in the business community, and they are in general confident that something will happen. Still, they don’t want to get too hopeful. But if you talk to the average person, they feel like this is going to change everything, that sanctions will be lifted. And they think it is going to happen fast.”

Already, businesses in particular are pre-positioning themselves for the plethora of opportunities that could line up around a possible lifting of sanctions. Iran’s oil and gas industry is the most important for the country’s revenue stream. But the consumer market is equally promising for a host of international firms.

Take cosmetics, of which Iran is the ninth-largest consumer globally.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.

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