The Iranian nuclear deal has broad trade implications for Eurasia. The pending lifting of sanctions would allow Iran to take advantage of its favorable geographic position, as it straddles the commercial crossroads connecting Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.
If the provisions contained in the nuclear deal are implemented as envisioned, there are a number of historic and cultural factors that could spur rapid growth in Iran’s trade ties with Eurasian markets.
Many Eurasian states have historic links to Iran: Azerbaijan and Armenia, for example, were controlled by Persian kings until the territories were ceded to Russia under the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828. Also, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iran share a common language – Persian, Dari and Tajik being mutually intelligible. Elsewhere, Turkey and, to a considerably lesser degree, Turkmenistan already have trade ties with Iran covering a wide range of sectors.
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Shahin Shamsabadi is head of Business Intelligence MENA at The Risk Advisory Group (www.riskadvisory.net).