Rouhani invites American firms to invest in Iran

February 2, 2016  

Iran has no problem with American companies investing in its economy and creating joint ventures, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The comments came as Rouhani called for foreign investment and diversification away from oil, following the lifting of sanctions last month under a nuclear deal with world powers.

Several major multinational firms have rushed to establish a position in Iran as it reopens for business after the lifting of the sanctions, but American companies have held back due to separate U.S. sanctions that remain in place, noted Reuters.

“If U.S. companies are willing to come and invest in Iran, to bring manufacturing to Iran, we have no problem with that,” Rouhani said in a wide-ranging interview aired live on state TV.

He said Iran’s economy would change dramatically, away from importing goods paid for by oil sales and toward developing industry through joint ventures with foreign firms, with a view to exporting manufactured goods including cars.

Rouhani’s comments come despite the constant attacks by Iranian leaders on the United States, which is often referred to in Iran as “the Great Satan”.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently reiterated his warnings against what he termed U.S. “deceit,” underlining how the regime in Tehran still remains decidedly hostile towards America.

In October, Khamenei banned any further negotiations between Iran and the United States following the nuclear deal reached last summer.

A month later he ordered the Iranian government to implement a blockade of U.S. imports as part of an outline for creating an “economy of resistance.”

Khamenei has also voiced his agreement with the “Death to America” calls by Iranians during protests in Tehran.

Rouhani has also made such comments and has personally presided over “Death to America” chants in Iran, as shown in a video released by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office last Independence Day.

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