A New Day

Iran’s compliance to the nuclear deal has finally led to the economic sanctions being removed, ushering in a new era for the country’s economy. Access to the global banking system, roughly $ 100 billion worth of assets unlocked, an immediate injection of 500,000 barrels to the current 1.1 million barrels exported with a further addition of another half million in the next year and access to European and American markets for trading and shipping are only a few benefits that Tehran serves to gain as a direct result of the removal of sanctions. With the sanctions lifted, it is also hoped that Pakistan can complete its side of the work on the Iran-Pak gas pipeline, for which Iran is now consider legal action in a bid to force Pakistan to keep up its side of the agreement.

Experts estimate that the cost of doing business with Iran with the sanctions in place led to a 15% increase in prices at the very least. The previous year has been kind to consumers in the global oil market, with prices lower than recent years. The addition of more oil to this equation will only take the prices even lower. Stock markets are already plummeting in both Saudi Arabia and UAE in anticipation of the half million barrels to come from Iran. Iran is speculated to offer a discounted price to regain some its buyers, while Saudi Arabia has been keeping its own price low to keep its market share. A price war is on the cards, and the prices of most commodities will be affected as a result. The only thing that remains to be seen is how far both countries will go in a bid to compete with one another.

Pakistan cancelled Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s visit to Iran on Friday, and instead, both the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff are scheduled to travel to Iran and Saudi Arabia on Monday, in the hopes of mediating the conflict between the two Middle Eastern powers. Iran the neighbor and Saudi Arabia the ally need mediators at this point; with the lifting of sanctions Saudi Arabia is likely to be even more hostile against Tehran. The Pakistan government has made a very reasonable decision to try and get both countries to talk, and indeed, this process could improve its relationship with both countries, with Iran however likelier to see this as a friendly overture.

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