Energy 18 January, 2018 10:00 am   
COMMENTS: Patryk Gorgol

New US sanctions against Iran are a cause for concern for the Polish business

President Donald Trump decided to impose new sanctions on Iran, although he did not break the nuclear agreement. He announced that he was giving Iran a last chance and also pointed out that the agreement should be improved. We will return to the starting point in 120 days’ time, when Donald Trump again has to make a decision concerning the confirmation of Iran’s implementation of the agreement. Contrary to appearances, it is a step backwards, because if President Trump were determined to break the agreement, he would have done so long ago – says Patryk Gorgol, a cooperator of In January 2017, our portal, as the first portal in Poland, informed that the reason behind Poles’ reservations for investments in Iran may be the policy of the USA.

Playing in favour of Ajatollahs

The reaction of Tehran is interesting. On the one hand, Tehran emphasises that the imposition of new sanctions is incompatible with the nuclear agreement and, on the other hand, there is a clear willingness to continue the agreement. It turns out, therefore, that both the Americans and the Iranians want to be tough and unyielding negotiators, and when it comes to the moment of the trial, they do not decide to break the agreement.

While President Donald Trump has repeatedly, particularly during the presidential campaign, advocated against the nuclear agreement, his main problem is the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is of the opinion that Iran meets the terms of the agreement, as well as the other superpowers involved in signing the agreement, which are interested in its continuation. Europeans have recently been planning to invest more and more courageously in Iran. If the Americans had broken the agreement, they would have been able to impose severe sanctions on Iran, but there is a variant dangerous to Washington that the nuclear agreement would be implemented by other superpowers and Iran, excluding the United States. The economic success of international isolation would not have been possible without transatlantic cooperation. There is another risk from the point of view of the United States – a break of the agreement inexplicable to the world may turn out to be…. the support of the authorities in Tehran, because it will consolidate the Iranians around the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which would be beneficial to them in the context of the recent protests.

Looking from the Iranian point of view, breaking isolation has a beneficial effect on economic indicators – before the current crisis connected with the protests, the government managed to contain inflation and significantly accelerate economic growth. It can be assumed that this is only the beginning of good news for the Iranian economy, but on condition that the country is stable, and sanctions are not restored and, in particular, the Americans will not take advantage – interestingly enough – of the ‘nuclear option’ by attempting to block the banking system. The inhabitants of Iran are in favour of the nuclear agreement and hope that their material situation will improve. This means that it is in Iran’s interest to maintain the nuclear agreement, and it is worth noting here that Tehran has at the same time not changed its policy of supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the rebels in Yemen, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which means a confrontational course with the United States and its allies. It is not difficult to link nuclear agreement issues with conflicting interests in the region.

Conclusions for Poland

Undoubtedly, stabilising the situation between Washington and Teheran on the nuclear agreement is important from a business point of view. It is hardly realistic for entrepreneurs to want to involve more resources if, in 120 days’ time, sanctions imposed on Iran may prove to be significantly preventing, for example, the movement of money through a bank, or, worse still, contacts with a particular business partner will mean that US laws are breached, which could result in severe penalties. However, it is worth noting first European actions, such as the launch of credit lines. However, it is only stabilisation that will be conducive to significant investments.

It is also unlikely that there will be serious business movements on the Polish side in energy matters, as Poland tries to work closely with Washington on the issue of hydrocarbons.