Iran

Old Jan 17th 2016, 5:38 am
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Default Iran

Sanctions lifted.

Who's going next week? (not me)

Personally, I think it won't deliver as we'd hope. The country will be constrained by its neighbours and decision making will be slow. A lack of integration, socialist thinking and a difficult language will make the whole thing tricky.

I also think that sanctions will be back on pretty soon as Saudi will coax it into making a mistake. Whatever project you sign up for, it better be highly paid and short.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 6:37 am
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Default Re: Iran

I'm not so sure.

We as a company made a fortune on one or two (long term) civils construction projects in Iran only a few years ago. We ended up walking away when it all got a bit difficult but they paid like they used to here in the UAE in the early 90's. That was a UK Consultant too, although we had to source a Canadian RE as it would have been too difficult to get a Brit into the role.

Also, regarding the language, a lot of Iranians speak English well and are a lot more Westernised than people give them credit for.

I've been working on 3 large long term civils construction projects here with an Iranian Contractor and I openly admit it did take a while to drag them into line but now they perform very well and act like any other professional Contractor. This is mainly due to us holding their hand over the years and forcing them to improve their processes, however, they in turn have seen this as an opportunity to improve and have to a large degree embraced it.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how this develops. I have many Iranians in my social circle, with a couple of my Brit friends married to Iranian girls and if I'm honest they seem to have more in common with Brits than other Middle Easterners.

All that said, thats the younger generation and the older generation may resist any required changes should they wish to integrate.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 6:47 am
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Default Re: Iran

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
I'm not so sure.

We as a company made a fortune on one or two (long term) civils construction projects in Iran only a few years ago. We ended up walking away when it all got a bit difficult but they paid like they used to here in the UAE in the early 90's. That was a UK Consultant too, although we had to source a Canadian RE as it would have been too difficult to get a Brit into the role.

Also, regarding the language, a lot of Iranians speak English well and are a lot more Westernised than people give them credit for.

I've been working on 3 large long term civils construction projects here with an Iranian Contractor and I openly admit it did take a while to drag them into line but now they perform very well and act like any other professional Contractor. This is mainly due to us holding their hand over the years and forcing them to improve their processes, however, they in turn have seen this as an opportunity to improve and have to a large degree embraced it.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how this develops. I have many Iranians in my social circle, with a couple of my Brit friends married to Iranian girls and if I'm honest they seem to have more in common with Brits than other Middle Easterners.

All that said, thats the younger generation and the older generation may resist any required changes should they wish to integrate.
Well done on your positive experiences - that's brilliant.

My post may have read a bit negative. I personally really like Iranians (those I've met anyway) - I'm really just basing my conclusions on advising regional governments for years on developing large projects. Typically, ex. semi-socialist governments (Afghanistan being my core reference point here) are the young are very smart and want to reform... the problem comes from inadequate or preventive laws and a few old folk holding things up.

The issue they have is that they will be overwhelmed and try and launch everything at once (same happened in Myanmar) and ultimately deliver on little. Add in regional politics and tensions I think it will be a challenge for them. The country could be like another Egypt - full of promise and fundamentals, but for a couple of reasons never delivers.

That said - some people will make a fortune there. I'm going to start exporting Queen albums to them.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 8:13 am
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Default Re: Iran

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Well done on your positive experiences - that's brilliant.

My post may have read a bit negative. I personally really like Iranians (those I've met anyway) - I'm really just basing my conclusions on advising regional governments for years on developing large projects. Typically, ex. semi-socialist governments (Afghanistan being my core reference point here) are the young are very smart and want to reform... the problem comes from inadequate or preventive laws and a few old folk holding things up.

The issue they have is that they will be overwhelmed and try and launch everything at once (same happened in Myanmar) and ultimately deliver on little. Add in regional politics and tensions I think it will be a challenge for them. The country could be like another Egypt - full of promise and fundamentals, but for a couple of reasons never delivers.

That said - some people will make a fortune there. I'm going to start exporting Queen albums to them.
Fair call. Your experience certainly significantly outweighs mine in terms of politics! I agree with what you say on the 'few old folk holding things up', however, lets see if the green band folk manage to ramp it up and make some changes.

Also, hopefully Iran doesn't end up sharing any similarities with Egypt, thankfully though Egyptians and Iranians share very few personality traits from what I've experienced.

As for the Queen albums (obviously due to the Freddie Zoroastrian links), one thing I do know about Iranians is that if something is worth having technology wise they'll already have a knocked off version of it!
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 8:48 am
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Default Re: Iran

I once kissed an Iranian girl.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Iran

They've been getting everything they need through the unofficial ferry between musandam and Iran anyway. Even oil and gas production has been going ahead, they just weren't getting paid until now, so they will have a huge wedge of cash to start playing with.

I don't expect their crude exports to affect market supply, but their income and cash supply will now be envied.

I suspect the first purchases will be to tool up their military.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 8:58 am
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Default Re: Iran

Originally Posted by iggle View Post
I once kissed an Iranian girl.
Did the stubble bother you?
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by Beaverstate View Post
Did the stubble bother you?
Not that much, but the 3rd leg did.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Iran

I think the Saudi's will keep poking them with a stick until they do something a bit naughty. Then the Israeli's will kick off and the Yanks will find a way to re-sanction the Iranians and everything will go back to the Gulf Arabs running the region.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Iran

Originally Posted by OriginalSunshine View Post
They've been getting everything they need through the unofficial ferry between musandam and Iran anyway. Even oil and gas production has been going ahead, they just weren't getting paid until now, so they will have a huge wedge of cash to start playing with.

I don't expect their crude exports to affect market supply, but their income and cash supply will now be envied.

I suspect the first purchases will be to tool up their military.
Spot on. I also believe that At no point did they stop producing. They were either not getting paid or selling it cheap to China.

Correct on the military too. That's why they are uncle Sams NBF.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Iran

Iran is a mid-income (by global standards) 80 million people country. Specially Iranians tend to be quite educated. A very interesting market for MNCs.

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
I think the Saudi's will keep poking them with a stick until they do something a bit naughty. Then the Israeli's will kick off and the Yanks will find a way to re-sanction the Iranians and everything will go back to the Gulf Arabs running the region.
I read Israeli newspapers (for reasons not allowed in the GCC ) from time to time and it is really shocking the way Saudi Arabia and the Saudi government is portrayed now. It is like Saudi Arabia is Israel's new best friend and a peace maker in the region (!). When Saudi killed like 50 people a couple of weeks ago, most (specially right wing) newspapers portrayed that it was completely necessary in order to protect the peace in the region, and how strong Saudi Arabia is.

Also Saudi and Israeli officials have already appeared together in public, and Saudi government officials said they would recognise Israel as soon as they recognise Palestine (which is not happening anytime soon though). Now Saudi Arabia does allow Jews to enter the country (it was "officially" banned until recently; however you could write that you were Christian and no one would ask).

Also it is well known that more and more trade is going on between Israel and the GCC lately (notably with the UAE) behind the curtains, specially in defence-related businesses. Israel is very good at keeping Islamic extremists at bay... and the UAE and Saudi want to "learn" about this. Also Israel has became a developed economy in a country with no oil in the Middle East... connect the dots.

Then of course things happen

Family of American contractor who died in Saudi Arabia still searches for answers | Fox News

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Old Jan 17th 2016, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Iran

New sanctions already imposed. Albeit in a reduced form.

Somewhat quicker than I predicted...

Relating the the October event that could only be described as utterly stupid and as a show of strength to the Saudis. More of this to come I think.
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: Iran

Iran sanctions are being lifted primarily because the US has clearly made a huge strategic shift. It's quite clear that it does not view Iran as a threat to either itself or to US interests now. After sic a shift, I think it very unlikely that the Iranians will be tricked or provoked into doing anything that is going to significantly change this. Some people suggested that the US Navy sailors straying into Iranian waters was a deliberate attempt by some in the military to mess up the improving relations but that's probably unlikely, and besides, the Iranians were swift to release the sailors which probably only improved relations further.

Considering the level of Saudi and Israeli opposition to Iran, it's also clear that the US appears happy now to disregard both of them. Saudi has a lot less sway because of the oil market these days, and maybe the US now sees Israel as more of a problem than a solution, and realizes it's not serious about making any kind of reasonable deal with Palestinians. It's not like Israel has any other allies, so it's going to stick with the US regardless because it has no choice.

But I think there is longer term thinking in the US move to effectively switch from Saudi to Iran as the regional power. Iran looks far more able to support itself and prosper over the next few decades. The Iranians have a lot more indigenous technology and engineering, a better work ethic and more natural resources like water and farmland to support their population. The gulf states are bloated, over populated on land that produces nothing except oil, the market for which longer term looks very bad. The fact that Saudi is increasingly viewed in the west as essentially the same as ISIS, and rather too happy to get into bed with AQ in Yemen and Syria, only makes it easier to justify scaling back military support for Saudi too.
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Old Jan 18th 2016, 1:48 am
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Default Re: Iran

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
... a lot of Iranians speak English well and are a lot more Westernised than people give them credit for... they seem to have more in common with Brits than other Middle Easterners.
My judgment was exactly the same when a friend (female) and I backpacked through the country fifty years ago. The middle-class were sophisticated by any standards, and generally spoke English. They despised the US and UK governments, and at that time still resented those governments for imposing the brutal Shah on them, but they were warm in welcoming individual visitors. I'd be surprised if that had changed in the years since.
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Old Jan 18th 2016, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Iran

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
and the Yanks will find a way to re-sanction the Iranians.
Well I'm not normally right so quickly....

Originally Posted by captainflack View Post
Some people suggested that the US Navy sailors straying into Iranian waters was a deliberate attempt by some in the military to mess up the improving relations but that's probably unlikely, and besides I heard the same, I find it hard to believe sailors don't know where they're going (as with the Brits a few years ago)

Considering the level of Saudi and Israeli opposition to Iran, it's also clear that the US appears happy now to disregard both of them. Saudi has a lot less sway because of the oil market these days, and maybe the US now sees Israel as more of a problem than a solution, and realizes it's not serious about making any kind of reasonable deal with Palestinians. It's not like Israel has any other allies, so it's going to stick with the US regardless because it has no choice.

But I think there is longer term thinking in the US move to effectively switch from Saudi to Iran as the regional power. Iran looks far more able to support itself and prosper over the next few decades. The Iranians have a lot more indigenous technology and engineering, a better work ethic and more natural resources like water and farmland to support their population. The gulf states are bloated, over populated on land that produces nothing except oil, the market for which longer term looks very bad. The fact that Saudi is increasingly viewed in the west as essentially the same as ISIS, and rather too happy to get into bed with AQ in Yemen and Syria, only makes it easier to justify scaling back military support for Saudi too.
Interesting points there. Especially the last paragraph - it's a fair assessment but I think KSA will remain ultimately all-powerful and important because of it's size and wealth. Oil will remain necessary.
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