Oil-rich Iran with a population of 80 million offers means good business, and being a “good businessman” U.S. president-elect Donald Trump won’t likely risk worsening the hard-won normalized ties with Iran, said a senior industry and trade minister of Iran as investors have turned jittery about the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S.-led global powers that lifted international sanctions once Trump takes office next month.
“Iran wants good relations with the U.S…(and having so) will be ultimately a win-win for both countries,” said H.E. Dr. Mansour Moazami, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade & Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) Chairman of Board in an interview with the Maeil Business Newspaper.
Iran’s currency and capital markets have suffered from exodus of foreign money amid uncertainty in Washington’s policy under Trump and his hawkish foreign affairs and security team. Trump throughout his campaign outright disapproved of the pact calling it “stupid” and “worst deal ever negotiated.” Renegotiations may be inevitable after Trump takes office, putting many of foreign investments and deals that poured into the country upon lifting of the sanctions at risk.
Moazami is visiting Korea to discuss business deals with Korean shipbuilders.
IDRO, an executive body of the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, oversees industrial policies and state entities including automakers Iran Khodro, or IKCO, and SAIPA, and shippers Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) and National Iranian Tanker Co.
He visited Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.’s Geoje shipyard on Monday, and said cooperation with the Korean firm would greatly help “expansion of the marine industry” in Iran, especially construction projects of state-owned shipyard Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO). Iran plans to invest up to $30 billion in its marine and shipbuilding sectors, he added. He also expected Iran’s methanol production – currently 5 million tons annually – would more than quadruple to 20 million tons by 2020, which would lead to higher demand in tanker ships, providing “good opportunities” for many shipbuilders including Korean ones.
Regarding the auto industry, he said he was “not satisfied” with Korean carmakers that only focus on exporting their cars. He hoped that Korean automakers invest in the Iranian auto industry, such as building car production facilities, for enhanced cooperation.
Photo: Alex Helmi, right, owner of Damoka in Westwood, receives his first shipment of rugs directly from Iran in more than five years. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)