The Biggest Loser in Iran: U.S. Companies

As Iran is increasing their oil output and spending their unfrozen cash, there will be winners and losers in this newfound market.

The biggest losers being U.S. firms.

The recent lifting of the Iran nuclear sanctions will have little benefit to any US companies. Instead, European, Asian and Russian companies will now be able to feast on the mammoth economic boom which will hit Iran.

Airbus has already been awarded an order of 114 aircraft, leapfrogging Boeing, in the first of what to be many more aircraft and part procurement deals. The ageing fleet of Iranian commercial airline companies as well as helicopters serving the offshore oil and gas industry, will require massive investment in new aircraft. The pick of the crop in the helicopter industry will surely be the American manufactured Bell 412 for transport and exploration purposes. U.S. aviation companies will most certainly benefit from the forthcoming aviation boom in Iran but are faced with numerous obstacles to overcome in order to start trading in Iran.

For non-aviation companies based in the USA, not much have changed since the pre-Iran deal era. Only foreign subsidiaries of U.S. based firms are allowed to deal in Iran which means, a company like Apple, may allow their foreign subsidiary to open in Iran, but they wont be allowed to talk with HQ about operations in Iran. It will have to take great pains to ensure its American business is walled off from any Iranian companies still sanctioned. 

Foreign companies in the auto making, oil & gas, tourism, retail, infrastructure and IT industry will gain a massive advantage over their American counterparts as the Europeans have lifted most of the trade sanctions against Iran which means the American companies will lose marketshare.

For now, it seems that U.S. companies are left out in the cold and with the Obama administration having less than a year left in office, a Republican candidate could put the cat amongst the pigeons, if they were elected into office, and reverse the Iran deal. 

For now, allowed U.S firms like Boeing, will need to make hay while the sun shines as come 2017, it might be a totally different picture.

Barry Oberholzer

Born in Houston, Texas, a former professional rugby player and current CrossFit and Ironman athlete, Barry  is the founder of TerrorMate app and is a counter-terrorism and intelligence expert. Formerly Barry served as a confidential informant for Department of Homeland Security, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Belgium Customs Intelligence and HM Revenue & Customs Intelligence in the United Kingdom. 

One of his most impactful successes was in his identification of Iranian sanction busting syndicates who smuggled US manufactured aircraft and parts to Iran which led to the arrests of several prominent international businessmen. He also had numerous successes in major illicit cigarette seizures in Europe.