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The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, was a global agreement that curtailed multinational sanctions on Iran with the promise that Iran would cut back on its uranium enrichment. Several nations have doubted Iran's full commitment to the deal, especially with news of the recent missile test; nonetheless, the JCPOA has held firm thus far. Helped by the sanctions relief, Iran has now taken a large step in revitalizing its position within the global marketplace. The country has started building 12 new oil refineries, hoping to increase its overall output to at least 4 billion barrels a day by the end of March. Unaffected by the OPEC supply cuts negotiated last November, Iran hopes to massively expand its lagging energy industry, a sector that was particularly hit hard by pre-deal sanctions.

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After economic sanctions were lifted off of Iran, many countries quickly began trade talks and one of the first countries to jump on this was Germany. Large German companies, such as Siemens AG, have already announced plans for large industrial projects in Iran. German companies hoped that the removal of the embargo on Iran would reignite old trade deals that had reached $5bn in yearly exports. Although exports have jumped since January, the results have left Germans disappointed.

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China devalued its yuan in 2015 by calculating the reference rate on a daily basis and letting market forces affect the value. For some, it seemed like a good idea to get China more into the dynamic financial market. For others, it’s not playing out that way.

With the Iran nuclear deal and US sanctions lifted, Iran’s market – read oil production and related industries – should open up to companies. Not really. There is just too much bad feeling and economic turmoil for some to engage.

While the cases of China and Iran involved decisions being made (by China and by the US vis-à-vis Iran), TPP has been in negotiation since March 15, 2010 without an agreement. TPP, often talked about, seldom spelled out, refers to the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” and involves 12 primary countries as potential trading partners. Nineteen official negotiation rounds between 2010 and 2013 and numerous other meetings since led simply to indecisiveness.

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On Tuesday, Iran launched a large number of ballistic missiles from silos all over the country. According to reports, the missiles can cover distances ranging from 190 to 1,242 miles. Reports from a local news agency reported that the missiles were launched as part of a supposed military exercise. An official statement from The Revolutionary Guards, a division of Iran's Armed Forces affiliated with the Islamic Revolution, declared that the missiles were launched to showcase Iran's "deterrent power" and "all-out readiness to confront threats". The United States has reacted unfavorably to the news. Just two months ago, the U.S. had imposed sanctions on Iran in reaction to missile tests run by the country last October, meant to disrupt further activity. Now, additional sanctions against Iran may be on the discussion table.

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Iran, OPEC’s number 3 crude oil producer, is expected to raise its oil exports to around 1.65 million barrels per day in March. Previously, Iran was exporting about 1.5 million barrels per day. With the rise in exports, the state-run National Iranian Oil Company plans to increase shipments to several countries throughout Europe. The National Iranian Oil Co. is expected to ship around 250,000-300,000 barrels per day to Europe beginning on March 1. France is contracted to receive about 200,000 barrels per day, while Spain is set to receive about 35,000 barrels per day. Russia and Greece are also expected to receive shipments from Iran.

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Since Iran refused to suspend it uranium enrichment program in 1979, various international sanctions have been imposed on this country in order to restrict its policies of developing nuclear weapons. The cost of such military development is the loss of the oil production capacity, which decreased from over 7 million barrels per day in 1979 to around 4.2 million in 2003. Iran has realized the need to boost its oil output for economic growth and it has agreed to curb its nuclear program. In July, Iran signed a historic nuclear deal with six global powers to waive the sanctions, which are expected to be lifted in early 2016. The country is now preparing for the expected economic growth in the coming year.

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Iran is the last, large, untapped emerging market in the world.”  These were the words of Ramin Rabii, a chief executive of the top foreign investment company in Iran, following The 1st Europe-Iran Forum.  At this forum hundreds of international investors met with Iranian business leaders, and also heard from speakers such as the United Kingdom’s former foreign secretary Jack Straw.

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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.

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For the past few weeks, Western states have not only imposed sanctions on Iran, but also convinced many Asian countries to do the same.  These sanctions are an economically crippling bargaining technique to pressure Iranian officials into discontinuing their uranium enrichment program, which American and European officials claim to be a nuclear weapons program with malicious intent but Iranian officials claim to peaceful and a national right.  Furthermore, many financial institutions that interact closely with Iran’s central bank have also been targeted.  The assets of Iran’s central bank are currently frozen that are linked to Tehran.

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Some people say Wal-Mart, others say Carrefour, but Iran is saying Hyperstar. Hyperstar, found in western Tehran, is Iran’s first large U.S.-style supermarket, financed by a businessman from the United Arab Emirates. It is becoming incredibly successful with an average of 15,000 customers a day! Shoppers consist of mainly middle-class residents who show an increasing interest in shopping and traveling.

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An attempt by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad to change the Iranian economy through the implementation of a new sales tax was met with heavy opposition by Iran’s merchant class, the primary bearers of the new tax.

According to the Washington Post, angry shopkeepers refused for the second straight day to open their stores in the central bazaar city of Esfahan. Shopkeepers in other Iranian cities such as Tehran, Mashad and Tabriz also refused to sell goods.