Iranian top government officials yesterday presented details on peaceful use of funds presumably to be freed up from sanctions relief.
U.S. opponents of the just-signed nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran must now consider that one of their main concerns — the likelihood that Iran would use new billions of dollars for international mischief — seems less likely.
Not that it’s impossible. But if the Iranian government ministers are dissembling, they are very good at it. Consider some highlights of the Reuters Thursday report:
“Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said the Islamic Republic would focus on oil and gas, metals and car industries with an eye toward exporting to Europe after sanctions have been lifted…
“Iran’s deputy minister of commerce and international affairs, Hossein Zamaninia, said Teheran had identified nearly 50 oil and gas projects worth $185 billion … [and] deals would last 20-25 years.
“Central bank deputy governor Akbar Komijani said Iran’s financial sector was offering opportunities for cooperation between domestic banks and foreign investors.”
Reuters also reported that many European companies have already shown interest in reestablishing business in Iran and that the country plans to join the World Trade Organization “once political obstacles” are removed.
The U.S. Congress is, of course, considering all aspects of the comprehensive proposed nuclear deal. The planned Iranian business projects may help generate the Congressional “profiles in courage” needed for decisions in the national — and international — interest.
Senators and members of the House, resisting the well-financed campaigns on both sides of the issue, might well reflect on recent counsel from Vali Nasr, distinguished observer and participant in Mideast geopolitical affairs. He offered optimistic long range insights in his April 14, 2015 New York Times Op-ed, “Saudis Should Welcome the Iran Deal“:
“… a final nuclear deal is much likelier to make the Arab world more secure for a decade or more, by preventing Iran from getting a ‘breakout’ … And that would give the whole region time to address the real issue of its instability: the lack of effective pluralist government in fragile states throughout the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.”