Abstract: On July 14, 2015, after almost two years of various talks and negotiations, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Germany, and the European Union, signed a comprehensive international agreement with Iran to try to ensure Iran would not develop military nuclear capabilities. Under the Iran Deal, the European Union agreed to lift nearly all economic sanctions that it has imposed on Iran if Iran complies with certain restrictions over the course of eight years. The United States will lift some sanctions but will still restrict U.S. citizens from some activities involving Iran. This note argues the differences in sanction relief between the United States and the European Union will put U.S. businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
This Note defends the thesis that under the Iran deal, the United States and the European Union should collaborate and lift sanctions in congruence with each other. It argues that the history of sanctions and penalties imposed on Iran by the United States has been similar to the sanctions and penalties imposed on Iran by the European Union, allowing the United States and the European Union to successfully cooperate and regulate interstate business relations in Iran. This Note then contends that if Iran does comply with the current Iran Deal, U.S. businesses will be at an economic disadvantage because they will be unable to conduct business with Iran due to strict United States-only sanctions, while their European counterparts will be able to engage in new business opportunities with Iranian companies. Further, the U.S. government will also be at a disadvantage, as the government will want to understand the legal differences in business law in Iran, such as the differences in Iran’s business civil code compared to the United States in order to successfully regulate interstate activity. This Note then argues that by allowing sanction relief similar to the European Union, the United States would not only offer U.S. businesses a global economic opportunity in a rich market, but the United States would also be able to coordinate with other countries on how to proactively deal with the complex legal issues of how to conduct business transactions in Iran. Finally, this Note contends that lifting economic sanctions will help the United States influence the regulations of interstate transactions with Iran and help mold the Iranian economy as a whole.