Despite loosened trade sanctions against Iran following a historic nuclear deal with the country, U.S. companies will have few, if any, opportunities to cash in, according to international trade lawyers.
The six-month agreement the United States and other world powers made with Iran Saturday to curb the Islamic republic's nuclear program temporarily suspends various sanctions on precious metals, petrochemicals and the country's auto industry, allowing some non-U.S. companies to profit. The accord doesn't lift decades-long sanctions that prohibit most U.S. trade with Iran, except for medicine and food. The United States, however, pledged to make it easier to purchase U.S. food and medicine under existing rules that allow such humanitarian transactions.
Ferrari & Associates principal Erich Ferrari, whose Washington, D.C., firm specializes in U.S. economic sanctions matters, said the deal was a "symbolic step forward." The agreement didn't force the United States to cede much ground to Iran and is unlikely to have a major impact on the Iranian economy, he said.