The termination of sanctions pursuant to its nuclear deal with the West has not done enough to boost Iran’s economy—or so Tehran has complained. In response, John Kerry traveled to Europe last week to persuade investors to do business with the Islamic Republic. Elliott Abrams comments:
Iran has the “right” to an end to nuclear sanctions, but has no “right” to additional business. There are many reasons companies might hold back, ranging from American terrorism-related and human-rights sanctions, to uncertainty about future U.S. policy, to fear that entities in Iran with which they may undertake business are also involved in illegal or terrorist activities.
Moreover, Iran is not a democracy with a reliable legal system, but a dictatorship run by the ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guard where legal rights cannot possibly be guaranteed. There is simply no defensible reason for an American official, much less our top diplomat, to concern himself with how much investment and profit Iran can eke out of the nuclear deal. The effort to do so betrays America’s real interests in the Middle East, which are challenged by a richer and better-resourced Iran.