Economic Cooperation as Political Insurance

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Since Iran signed the nuclear deal with world powers in July 2015, Tehran has seen a flood of foreign visitors. Nine heads of state, 16 foreign ministers and dozens of other senior-level officials from across the world have come looking for diplomatic deals and economic opportunities. Iran is open for business and, as of mid-May, Tehran had secured about $3.5 billions in foreign investment since the nuclear deal, and billions more are in the pipelines.

The Rouhani government views these foreign deals not only in terms of monetary and economic value but also with the aim of reducing Iran’s regional and international political isolation. The May 23 tripartite agreement between Iran, India, and Afghanistan is a prime example of this approach. At the heart of this deal sits two of Iran’s key strengths: it’s role as a geostrategic hub and a global energy powerhouse.

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