Lately, Iran has been under a lot of international fire because of its nuclear program and its questionable intent.  Iran claims that the goal of its nuclear program is to generate an alternative energy source, but American and European officials believe that Iran has plans to build nuclear weapons.  As a result, the United States and Europe have put sanctions on Iran’s oil and natural gas exports because they believe that this large source of revenue could be financing Iran’s nuclear program.  Sanctions, however, have not been applied to Iran’s renewable energy program, which happens to be the largest in the Middle East.  Iran is developing renewable energy sources to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels and in part to escape the sanctions that have been placed on its oil and natural gas industries.

Iranian companies that are producing wind turbines and solar panels have garnered a lot of interest from Europe.  For instance, German manufacturer Fuhrländer AG has recently sent 12 wind turbines to an Iranian power contractor, Mapna, to be used as models for turbines that will be produced domestically.  However, some companies and investors in Europe and the United States are skeptical of supporting Iranian energy companies because they fear that they could be helping to indirectly fund Iran’s nuclear program.  Furthermore, some argue that sanctions should be extended to include Iran’s renewable energy companies. 

Iran’s government is backing the movement for more renewable energy and thinks that cleaner energy sources could help to reduce the pollution problem in its densely populated cities.  Earlier this year, the government announced that it would be designating $620 million to the support of renewable energy projects and technologies.  Iranian companies claim that they are doing their part to help limit the effects of global warming and are confident that their research and development of renewable energy sources will be beneficial to the international community.  How do you think international pressure and the possibility of future sanctions will affect renewable energy companies in Iran?

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