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Dollar Diplomacy in Tehran

How Promoting Business in Iran Boosts the Nuclear Agreement

A vendor counts money in a shop in Tehran's Grand Bazaar January 19, 2009. Raheb Homavandi / Reuters

The United States and international partners have signed a historic agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, but they still face important choices about just how far to go in allowing Iran back into the global economy. In the short term, U.S. companies will be limited in their ability to join the corporate march back to Iran when sanctions are lifted, and many in the West who have advocated for Iran’s isolation for decades do not want to see their nations’ companies and banks participate in Iran’s economic reintegration. Keeping Western companies on the sidelines, however, would be a strategic mistake. Allowing—or even encouraging—Western companies to invest in Iran provides Tehran with incentives to abide by the deal and gives Washington more leverage over Iran in the future.

The new nuclear accord lays out a path for international companies to initiate broad new trading and

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