A Windfall for Iran?

The End of Sanctions and the Iranian Economy

Mullah moola: counting bank notes in Tehran, August 2015. SIMON DAWSON / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Over the past few years, the nuclear issue has dominated news about Iran. The landmark deal recently agreed to between Iran and the United States and other world powers sets out arrangements for handling that issue, but it leaves open many other questions about Iran’s future course. One of the most fundamental questions is what path Iran will follow after the sanctions have been lifted: Will it open itself up to the world, fulfilling the country’s economic potential, or will the country’s influential conservative elite thwart global engagement? Iran’s choice will have profound geopolitical implications and will shape the country’s role in the world over the coming decades.

Conventional wisdom holds that the Iranian government will get a huge immediate economic windfall from the deal, thanks to the release of about $100 billion in frozen assets, and then continue to benefit as the end of the

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