Iranian couple overlooks Tehran.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Britain will on Friday brief businesses on how to capitalize on commercial opportunities in Iran thrown up by the lifting of sanctions and unfreezing of assets following a landmark deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program.
Under the accord reached in Vienna last week, Iran will be subjected to long-term curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of US, European Union and UN sanctions. The deal was signed by the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the EU.
"British companies will have noted very clearly the fact that the agreement that has been made will, if all goes according to plan, lead to the gradual relaxation of sanctions and, as important, the release of a significant value of Iranian frozen assets," Hammond said.
British diplomat Simon Gass, a former ambassador to Iran who took part in the nuclear negotiations, will conduct the briefing, Hammond said. No further details on which businesses would attend were immediately available.
Hammond estimated $150 billion of Iranian assets would be released by the deal and said he expected a significant amount of capital investment to go into Iran's hydrocarbons infrastructure.
"Our European partners are already revving up to engage, and we are determined...that UK business will be up there with the best in seeking to be able to meet the requirements that Iran has for permitted imports," he said.
Hammond said he expected the immediate focus of the investment by Iran to be on improving hydrocarbon infrastructure to increase production, rather than fresh exploration.