Less than two weeks after the Geneva nuclear deal, media outlets are rightly heralding the start of the “post-sanctions” era.
According to Reuters, “the phone hasn’t stopped ringing” at the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce since the deal was signed, with companies phoning in all day in hopes of striking a business deal with Tehran. Not only firms in Germany – once Iran’s largest trade partner – but firms in the United States, Austria, Turkey and elsewhere in the West were also said to have expressed interest in renewing business ties — despite the tenuous status of the current agreement, which is only an interim deal.
The Financial Times reported that Iran had initiated contact with major European energy firms and “indirectly” with American ones, inviting them to invest in the country’s oil and gas sector once more. Meanwhile, Iran Daily Brief quoted senior officials in Tehran as saying a joint Iran-US chamber of commerce would be launched within less than a month.
It doesn’t end there. Ha’aretz listed major companies from around the world – from France to Pakistan – hoping to enter the Iranian market as international sanctions are eased, with Washington allegedly waiting on the sidelines in fear that it would miss its chance. AP made a similar prediction, intimating that the deal would cause French auto firms and Iranian carmakers to rev up cooperation as soon as sanctions relief sets in.
If all this weren’t enough, the Wall Street Journal reported a developing stampede of EU and US companies “from pharmaceutical firms and medical-equipment makers to food companies and traders.”
This is the new reality, and in our opinion the media is doing an excellent job covering it. Nevertheless, we do think it should ask: what happened to Washington’s original guarantee to head this off at the pass?