James Dennin, Kapitall: Iran has the second largest oil reserve in OPEC. Now oil and gas stocks might be closer than ever to getting a piece.
Ever since the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, America has made it very difficult for Iran to do business, especially with the US. In the immediate wake of the crisis, Iranian assets were all but completely frozen, an action that international authorities have been slow to undo.
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To this day, Iranian banks are not allowed to open international offices, and billions in Iranian oil revenues remain tightly locked in foreign banks around the world.All in an effort convince Iran not to keep its uranium. Now for the first time in decades the US appears close to relieving some of the embargoes on Iran. A new accord has been reached in Brussels which would automatically unfreeze about $4.2 billion in oil assets and roll back some of the toughest sanctions on oil, shipping, and auto manufacturing in Iran. The deal rests on promises that Iran will scale back its nuclear program – and desist enriching uranium beyond the benchmark where it can be used to generate power. For the time being, the move will have no bearing on American firms, who are still strictly forbidden from doing business with Iran. In the US even certain kinds of food and carpets from Iran are still banned. But a number of foreign oil and gas stocks, and even some of the companies that insure them, now will have access to a vast new market. Iran controls one of the largest oil reserves in the world. We compiled a list of foreign oil and gas stocks traded on US exchanges that may soon have access to the Iranian market. Do they merit further investigation?
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