Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Foreign food chains brave risks for a bite of Iran"

Yahoo:

For years, Iranians have had to put up with the likes of "Mash Donalds" and "Pizza Hat". Now real Western food franchises have finally arrived, but doing business in Iran is not for the faint-hearted.

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It took a year just to get the licence to import Japanese sauces, and navigating Tehran's notorious real estate rackets was a saga in itself.

The government says it is trying to streamline its bureaucracy, but Iran actually fell three places in this year's ease of doing business rankings from the World Bank, down to 120 out of 190 countries.

Still, some of the biggest headaches are back in Europe, where banks are so afraid of US penalties that they freeze accounts at the merest whiff of a link to Iran.